Civic advocacy group, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria, has urged the people of Anambra State to protect their votes in the November 6 Governorship Election in the state.
The group also tasked the Independent National Electoral Commission to conduct a free, fair, and transparent election in the Anambra so as not to escalate the security situation of the state, adding that INEC’s conduct of the election would determine the political and economic health of the South-East state after next month’s poll.
HURIWA National Coordinator, Emmanuel Onwubiko, made this known in a statement titled, ‘HURIWA to Anambra voters: Do not allow political lightning strike you twice, make a sustainable choice, opt for peace, development’.
The PUNCH had earlier reported that last week, INEC presented a final list of 18 registered political parties participating in the election of November 6 election. Some of the contenders include Charles Soludo of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, Andy Uba of the All Progressives Congress, Ifeanyi Ubah of the Young Progressives Party, and Valentine Ozigbo of the Peoples Democratic Party.
There have been political permutations in Anambra ahead of the election with the Deputy Governor of Anambra State, Dr Nkem Okeke, defecting to APC from APGA, where he and his boss, Willie Obiano, was elected into office.
Okeke was received in Aso Rock by the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.); APC National Caretaker Chairman, Mai Buni; as well as Imo State Governor, Hope Uzodinma.
In its statement, HURIWA urged the President to allow the independence of INEC during the election. The group also appealed to the people of Anambra to vote for their preferred candidate in the election and not be intimidated by the recent defection of the deputy governor.
The group said, “It was disappointing that the All Progressives Congress has consistently manifested a frightening proportion of desperation and political avarice to grab the office of governor of Anambra State. The rights group tasked President Muhammadu Buhari to play the role of a statesman like he did when Willie Obiano of the All Progressives Grand Alliance won a second term.
“HURIWA believes that the voters won’t let the political lightning strike them twice devastatingly. We, therefore, challenge the people of Anambra State to safeguard their votes if they hope to have good governance from November.”
The group, which threw its weight behind Ozigbo, said, “We have perused the blueprints of all the candidates and found the developmental framework put forward by Valentine Ozigbo and that of Charles Soludo to be very articulate but the voters need to make a clean sweep from the past by electing a totally new breed young politician with no baggage but only sustainable and enduring plans to expand the horizons of industrialisation of Anambra State.”