Less than two weeks to the November 6 governorship election in Anambra State, some ad hoc workers of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) have declined to work.
The bus drivers usually used to dispatch materials to different centres have equally declined to join the exercise.The reason, The Nation was told yesterday, was the threat from proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB). Though the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Dr. Nkwachukwu Orji, did not answer his calls when our correspondent sought to confirm the development, a senior staff member of the commission confirmed it.It was learnt that the drivers and majority of the ad hoc workers already recruited said they were no longer interested in the job for fear of their lives.
INEC had, between May and early June, announced the increment of polling units in Anambra State, which used to be 4,608, to 5,720.Besides, the commission announced that it would require about 10,000 ad hoc workers for the election to be a success. Few days ago, IPOB issued a statement through its Media and Publicity Secretary, Emma Powerful, that if its leader, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, is not released on November 4, it would declare another sit-at-home in Igbo land between November 5 and 10.
If the pro-Biafra group succeeds, it would disrupt the conduct of the November 6 governorship election in Anambra State.Besides, President Muhammadu Buhari had, on Saturday, declared that nothing would stop the conduct of Anambra State governorship election.Also, Governor Willie Obiano had promised that nothing would stop the November 6 poll.Obiano spoke in Awka, the state capital, through his Information and Public Enlightenment Commissioner C. Don Adinuba.But the INEC source, who spoke yesterday in Awka, regretted that the commission was facing a serious challenge ahead of the election.
The source said: “That is our situation now. Nothing seems to be working for us in this election because no one wants to lose his or her life because of IPOB.“It is a big challenge facing us. Many of the ad hoc workers already recruited are throwing in the towel because of the IPOB threats; even the drivers, who we always use to distribute the materials.“All of them contacted, told us they are not interested. So, our hands are tied. These people called IPOB have really dealt with the people of the Southeast.
“If nothing is done urgently, the election we’ve been preparing for, for so long a time may not hold; even if it holds, who is prepared to risk his or her life to come out?”
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