Police sound tough, plan lockdown, INEC confident of Saturday poll

The Chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, has restated that that Saturday’s governorship election in Anambra State must hold.

This is as the state police command announced a lockdown of the state from Friday.

Yakubu, who spoke at a meeting in Awka, said the commission had done everything within its powers to ensure the election holds, adding that security agencies had done all to ensure a secured environment for a peaceful poll.

He said, “When the commission released the time table 11months ago, it sounded like the election will never come. But here we are, 11 months have been reduced to four days.

“We reassure all registered voters that the election is going to be free, fair, credible and, upon the assurance of security agencies, peaceful.

“The only outstanding issue that several persons raised concerns about is the availability of PVCs for the new registrants and replacement with issues of transfer.

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“All the cards for all new registrants have been printed and delivered to Anambra State, and have been distributed to all the 21 Local Government Areas in the state.

“Beyond that, due to the technology we deployed for voter registration, we were able to harvest the telephone numbers as well as email addresses of new registrants. We have contacted all of them.”

The Commissioner of Police, Echeng Echeng, said, “Assets and personnel have started arriving. We have 85 percent of them on ground. We have started deployment.

“We have enough vehicles, helicopters and marine boats to take care of the waterways which will be complement by the Navy.

“For the past one week, police have been on confidence-building patrol of all nooks and crannies of the state. We have had meetings with stakeholders to discuss way forward and they have assured us of maximum security.

“We send warning signals to those who want to foment trouble that it is not going to be a tea party for them. Those who attempted to test us will have a good story to tell if at all they will return to their camps.

“Camps have been identified and operations are ongoing. For those who we would not take out that day, we have plans for them.”

He added, “We intend to have a lockdown to enable us control access into the state to ensure people don’t come in to foment trouble.

“We think we are good to go. Those who think the election will not hold have been proved otherwise. Come November 6, election will hold.”

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