From Jeff Amechi Agbodo, Onitsha
The Campaign for Democracy (CD) has raised the alarm over plans to deploy 21,087 policemen in November 18 Anambra State governorship election.
The group raised the fear that much security operatives in the election would scare the electorates to come out to cast their votes thereby causing apathy due to fear of the unknown.
The National Publicity Secretary of CD Dede Uzor Uzor in a press briefing Thursday said that with the deployment of over 21,000 policemen with the already existing 5000 policemen in the state coupled with other security agents on ground would be too much for the election and advised the Inspector-General of Police to reduce the number to 5000 policemen to join forces with those on ground.
“Due to the tension already created by the Operation Python Dance II in Abia State where some people were killed, deploying more security men for Anambra governorship election will scare people from coming out to vote because of fear of being harassed, so it is unnecessary to send such number of policemen to the state for the election”.
“IPOB is not a threat to the election, it is nonviolent group, they only called on members not to come out to vote or to boycott the election, they did not say that they will attack anybody that comes out that day to cast his vote, no. So, deploying more security agents will create unnecessary tension, that will frighten the people to stay at home on that day,” Uzor stated.
He said that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has not done enough to educate the electorates on their rights to come out to exercise their franchise, saying that they are supposed to have been educating the people of Anambra through the radio and television on the need to vote during the election.
Uzor also condemned the disposition of the state government on the charges for erection of billboards where it was said to collect some money before any other governorship candidate to mount billboard.
He argued that the government should give every candidate level playing ground for campaigns, venues and billboards which he said should be part of the electioneering for the short period.
The CD scribe further called on the police to disarm the vigilante men in the state two days before the election in order to stop some politicians from using them to commit electoral fraud.