Ohanaeze Ndigbo Wednesday said that the Saturday Anambra State governorship election must be free and fair as the apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation warned those who have the intention to rig and troublemakers to steer clear.
The President General of Ohanaeze, Chief Nnia Nwodo, who handed down this warning in Enugu, said that the Igbo group was satisfied “with the resolve of the people of Anambra State and all the political parties in the state to turn out for the elections.”
He said that those who do not want election to hold in Anambra State and the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) who are calling for a boycott of the election do not wish the people and state well.
“It is not for the interest of Anambra people for you to tell them not to go and vote because if they do not vote there will be anarchy because the constitution does not conceive any other thing to do than a state of emergency,” he pointed out.
He also noted that if the voters are persuaded not to go out to cast their votes, it would be a disservice to Anambra State and Ndigbo at large, adding that “Ohanaeze Ndigbo is insistent that the votes of Ndi-Anambra must be respected in Saturday’s elections.”
He said that “it was criminal for anyone to say don’t come out to vote, if you come out to vote you will die; that is incitement, attempt to kill, attempt to murder and when the security operatives come against them they will say its Operation Python Dance,” even as he advised the young ones who are encouraged to do unlawful things to retrieve their steps.
“Any attempt to rig, manipulate, falsify or impose results on Ndi-Anambra in this election will be seriously resisted,” he said.
Nwodo disclosed that Ohanaeze has applied to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to be given an observer status for the election, saying that they have already recruited lecturers from universities and polytechnics to help them in the exercise.
He also condemned the withdrawal of security details of Governor Willie Obiano, saying that the action was regrettable.
He pointed out that since all his opponents in the election were allowed to have their own security details, it was nonsensical and ultra vires to withdraw those of the governor, adding however that he was told yesterday morning that Obiano’s details have been restored after he made a presentation to President Muhammadu Buhari in Abakaliki, Ebonyi State.
“I have made representations to the president who has assured me that the elections will be free and fair.
“However, I got information this morning that the security details have been returned to the governor,” he said.
He also declared that Ohanaeze has not endorsed any of the candidates of the political parties.
“We do have any candidate in the Anambra election, all we want in Ohanaeze is for the votes of Ndi-Anambra to be respected, the people have the prerogative to choose who they want to be their governor, so whoever they choose is fine by us,” Nwodo said, advising politicians and the Anambra people to watch the polling booths to avoid rigging.
He urged them to guide jealously the results sheets which he said is the only document admissible in court in the event of any dispute.