From Jeff Amechi Agbodo, Onitsha
A human rights organization, International Society for Civil Liberties & Rule of Law (Intersociety) has described as grave danger of opposition to Anambra Governorship election by the Biafra agitators which may boomerang in future especially if there is a United Nations (UN) ordered referendum or plebiscite for Biafra State.
The group said that Nigerian Government can resort to same tactics during any referendum including raising clandestine deadly forces and use of terror and brigandage to create a general atmosphere of tensions and fears so as to scare voters away, adding that if majority votes are not secured, then quest for statehood is dead.
The Chairman of Intersociety Mr. Emeka Umeagbalasi in a statement called on the agitators to channel resources and energies against poll rigging and riggers and ensure that the November 6 Governorship Poll is popularly and credibly conducted and won.
“In the world over, issues of election and human rights are beyond borders, countries, boundaries, territories and cultures. This is because they are the axiom of the movement for statehood or self determination for regional autonomy or sustenance of existing statehoods. In other words, the founding or formation of any new statehood usually starts with Elections including ‘leadership election’, ‘plebiscite election’ or ‘referendum election’.
“The grave danger of opposition to Anambra Election by the agitators or their ‘comrades-at-large’ is its capacity to boomerang in future especially if there is a UN ordered referendum or plebiscite (i.e. on status of ‘Biafra’). That is to say that Nigerian Government can resort to same tactics including raising clandestine deadly forces and use of terror and brigandage to create a general atmosphere of tensions and fears so as to scare voters away”.
“Massive rigging of the Anambra Governorship Poll will occur once there are scanty of movements of persons and properties including public and commercial vehicles and commuters and opening of some public and private offices; all amidst tensions and fears forcing majority of the citizen population including independent and conscientious voters out of the streets and roads.
“The massive rigging is expected to arise from widespread scientific and manual doctoring of franchise papers and biometrics including massive uploading of procured PVCs as ‘validly cast votes’, thump-printing of ballot papers and hording of ‘FormEC8As’ and keeping them away from being used on Election Day as well as massive vote buying.
“The announcement by the police and military authorities of massive deployment of security personnel in Anambra State is clearly a deliberate ploy to scare voters away so as to massively supervise the rigging of the Anambra Governorship Poll in favor of their candidate.
“A clear case in point was the announcement by the Inspector General of Police of ‘deployment of 34,587 personnel” and further deployment of additional 100 senior police officers among them are include “two DIGs, five AIGs, fourteen CPs, thirty-one DCPs and forty-eight ACPs”.
“This is in addition to over 150 senior police officers (SPs/CSPs to CPs) in the State manning over 100 different police formations. Just recently, the National Security Adviser, Retired Major General Babagana Monguno disclosed that the President has ordered massive deployment of security forces to Anambra State “even if it means overwhelming the Anambra electoral environment with security forces”.
“This further means that Anambra will be flooded with not less than 100,000-150,000 police, spy police and military personnel and those of the paramilitaries and they will possibly outnumber the voters and become Government hired ‘voters’ or ‘thump-printers’. These are nothing short of ‘turning Anambra Governorship Poll into a “lucrative bazaar” and a “rigging field” Umeagbalasi alleged.