Anambra 2021: Don’t test our will to enforce peace, NSA warns IPOB

National Security Adviser, Babagana Moguno, on Monday responded to the threat by the Independent People of Biafra (IPOB) to frustrate the conduct of the November 6 governorship election in Anambra State.

The IPOB at the weekend declared a one-week sit-at-home protest across the South-East states starting from November 5.

IPOB’s Media and Public Secretary, Emma Powerful, in a statement issued in Awka, the Anambra State capital, said the protest was aimed at prevailing on the Federal Government to release its leader, Nnamdi Kanu.

The group vowed that the protest would go on as planned if Kanu was not released before November 4.

Kanu is facing trial on a seven-count amended charge bordering on treason and terrorism.

Speaking at the headquarter of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Abuja on the occasion of the meeting of the Special Inter-Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security (ICCES), the NSA who incidentally is the Co-Chairman of the ICCES said the conduct of the election is a legitimate process and security agencies would not allow any group under any guise to undermine the process in Anambra.

While he advised law enforcement agencies who would be deployed to guarantee the security of lives and property to conduct themselves in a civilised manner, Babangida Monguno however warned forces who have been issuing threats to frustrate the election to have a rethink, in their own interest.

He said: “We all know how important it is for us.

“Election is number one legitimate right of every citizen and we must not deny them that right in an atmosphere devoid of rancour and violence.

“Just like the Chairman said, we need to do better than what we did in Edo and Ondo states.

‘For those of us in security, we have already done what we are supposed to do. All security agencies have been told to conduct themselves well and exhibit the highest level of professionalism and restraint and operate within the confines of the law and not in any way that will jeopardise the exercise.

‘We are going to ensure that the people of Anambra undergo this exercise without any incident.

“We want to offer brotherly advice to our brothers who want to destabilize the process to think again: we are all eager to achieve results that will be acceptable to everybody. I don’t think it will be right for anyone to ignite a crisis. Please, think again. The law enforcement agencies will not sit by idly and allow people to terrorise people, commit homicide, they have been told to watch out for these elements. I am appealing to you to stay in your wards and behave yourself.

“Anyone that wants to disrupt the process will be brought to book.

“Finally, I want to encourage staff of INEC. I know you have gone through a lot of pains, but don’t allow that to dampen your spirit or get into lethargy. I wish you fruitful deliberations.”

Earlier in his opening remarks, INEC Chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, disclosed that the Commission was fully prepared for the election having successfully accomplished 12 out of the 14 activities listed in the Timetable and Schedule of Activities for the election released in January this year.

“The two outstanding activities are the last day of the campaign, at midnight on Thursday 4th November 2021 and election day which remains Saturday 6th November 2021. The REC for Anambra State is here to fully provide an update on the implementation of other activities and INEC’s general state of readiness for the election.”

He restated his commitment to proceed with the election based on encouragement from heads of security agencies who have assured on the security of lives and property.

“INEC is determined to proceed with the Anambra State Governorship election as scheduled. The safety and protection of voters, our personnel, accredited observers, the media and materials are cardinal considerations in any election. We have been assured by the security agencies of a secure environment for the election. I am sure the CP Anambra State in his briefing, will provide more details regarding preparations on the ground. I wish to place on record the continued support of security agencies to the Commission during elections. Particularly noteworthy is the high level of professional conduct of the agencies in the last two major elections in Edo and Ondo States. Indeed, Edo and Ondo have become the standard for securing elections in Nigeria. The professionalism and neutrality exhibited by the security agencies in the two elections have been widely praised nationally and internationally. We are confident that this will be replicated in Anambra State.

I wish to register the profound gratitude of the Commission for the support we have received from religious, traditional and community leaders for peaceful elections. The Commission is also working with the National Peace Committee under the leadership of our respected former Head of State, General Abdulsalami Abubakar GCFR, to bring all political parties and candidates for the Anambra State Governorship election to commit to peace before, during and after the elections. “We appreciate this wide-ranging support and I wish to reassure the registered voters in Anambra State that the choice of the next Governor lies in their hands. I urge all and sundry to play their part in ensuring a free, fair, credible and peaceful governorship election in Anambra State.”

President Muhammadu Buhari Friday at State House Abuja urged the MTN Group to make the available top-of-the-range service to its Nigerian subscribers…  Don’t test our will to enforce peace, NSA warns IPOB  Don’t test our will to enforce peace, NSA warns IPOB  Don’t test our will to enforce peace, NSA warns IPOB  Don’t test our will to enforce peace, NSA warns IPOB.

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