Tuesday, December 7

Anambra guber poll strictly civil affair – Igbo group tells Army

Some concerned Igbo indigenes’ under the aegis of Forum of Igbo Activists (FIAT) have condemned alleged military invasion of communities in Anambra and South-East States ahead the Saturday’s governorship election in the state.

The group reminded the Nigerian army that the election remained strictly a civil affair guided by the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the Electoral Act.

In a statement issued by the Convener, Comrade Uzoh George in Awka, the group also expressed surprise over pronouncement of the National Security Adviser, Major Gen. Babagana Mongunu (Rtd) that the military and other Security Forces were going to “dominate Anambra”.

It argued that the statement was not strictly on the Non-State Actors but on the entire lives and property of Anambra people,

It called on Mongunu to immediately clarify what he meant by “military domination of Anambra State” to avoid misinterpretation and perhaps re-direct the military/forces for peaceful conduct of the election. 

The group pledged its preparedness to continue to monitor the situation and engage stakeholders to ensure the election was a success.

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The statement reads, “Worried that uneasiness and fear of the unknown has pervaded the social and particularly the political atmosphere of Anambra State due to uncertainty of a peaceful, free and credible election and also the invasion by the Nigerian Military, some concerned Igbo indigenes’ under the aegis of Forum of Igbo Activists (FIAT) came together and deliberated on the aforementioned issues and took certain positions.

“That the November 6, 2021 gubernatorial election in Anambra State is the most important issue for the political sustainability of Anambra State, South-East and indeed Nigeria.

“That we welcome the presence of the security agents deployed to Anambra State but seriously frown at, and condemn the allegation of military invasion of communities in Anambra and South-East States, since the military has not disputed these allegations which have gone viral in the media.

“That the rule of engagement in a civil society should be strictly adhered to and that there should be no further violation of the rights of law abiding citizens in the entire South-East States.

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“That we are astonished that the pronouncement of the National Security Adviser, Major Gen. Babagana Mongunu (Rtd) that the military and other Security Forces were going to “dominate Anambra” was not strictly on the Non-State Actors but on the entire lives and property of Anambra people.

“That it is becoming obvious that under the guise of fighting criminal elements, the rights of citizens are being trampled upon.

“That the Anambra election is a civil matter and must be so handled. That election must hold in Anambra State in a manner that the electorates must be allowed to choose their Governor freely. 

“That the military should allow the Police to carry out their primary duties on Election Day, but provide back up and wider clearance security.

“That all politicians should conduct themselves in a way that does not suggests that they will be colluding with Non-State Actors to scuttle the election. 

“That Stakeholders should as a matter of urgency close ranks and promote a quick and peaceful resolution going into the election.

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“We wish to remind the military that the November 6, Anambra Gubernatorial Election is strictly a civil affair guided strictly by the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the Electoral Act.

“We call on the National Security Adviser to immediately clarify what he meant by “military domination of Anambra State” to avoid misinterpretation and perhaps re-direct the military/forces for peaceful conduct of the election. 

“Forum of Igbo Activist (FIA-T) in conjunction with Igbo Public Affairs Foundation (IPAF) will continue to monitor the situation and engage all stakeholders to see that the election is a success.”

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