The Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD) has urged the Federal Government not to succumb to blackmail of insecurity but be resolute and vigilant about next Saturday’s Anambra State governorship election to ensure that last minute conflict triggered through the use of social media, short messaging services (SMS) are not utilized to disrupt the election.
This was contained in a study released by the CDD, titled “No Election, No Referendum” and signed by the Director of the centre Idayat Hassan.
This study was carried out against the backdrop of threats by the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) to stop the November 18 election.
The leader of IPOB, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, had earlier posited that unless the Federal Government organizes a referendum to determine the status of the country, there would be no elections in Anambra come November 18.
“For IPOB, the boycott is itself a rejection of Nigeria’s political structure. It is a way of protesting against Nigeria and all she stands for. IPOB describes the boycott as a potent weapon of civil disobedience to activate demand for referendum, the report noted.
“However, despite being proscribed as a terrorist organization, members of the group staged a demonstration in Onitsha, the Anambra State commercial nerve centre, threatening voters not to come out and vote in the November 18 governorship election in the state.
“On Friday 10th November, barely one week to the governorship election in Anambra State, members of the group marched around some streets in Onitsha, chanting: “If you vote you will die. Don’t go out, stay in your house.” The group vowed not just to disrupt the elections but also ensure a lockdown on the day of the election on Saturday, November 18, 2017,” she said.
The CDD, in the report noted that both the state and federal governments must not assume that the proscription of the group has weakened it in the scheme of things’ because proscription does not stop organizations from functioning.
The report noted that the IPOB may attempt to enforce its call for boycott of the election at all cost and using all means to achieve that, adding that this may lead to an outcome that threatens democracy not just in Anambra State but also in the South-east and the country as a whole.
“However, with the determination of the state to conduct the election, it is likely to be conducted as planned as arrangements for massive deployment of security forces have already been concluded,” she said.