As the Anambra governorship election, scheduled for Saturday, approaches, a mixture of apprehension and confidence have taken over the space.
This is because of the threat of the sit-at-home order declared by the proscribed indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) between Nov. 4 and Nov. 10, which threatens the conduct of the election on the one hand and the determination of the federal Government to avert constitutional crisis in the state.
As a result, there has been a steady influx of battle-ready Army, Police and Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) personnel into Anambra since last week.
This has to a large extent restored public confidence and built a positive mindset in the electorate as the security personnel are stationed at short distance intervals.
But some political parties have called on the authorities of the security agencies to ensure their personnel observe the rules of engagement in the course of their duty.
Dr Victor Oye, National Chairman of All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), commended the deployment of troops to the state, but warned that it should not be used against the innocent in the state.
Oye, who described Anambra as a peace-loving state, said there was no need for unnecessary heightening of tension as the state is not at war.
“What we have is election, not war, I want to thank the Federal Government for their proactiveness, we don’t have issues with the security agencies, they are not our enemies.
“But we want to eat. That they should not be used to suppress anybody or group in favour of the other, they should do their job dispassionately and allow Anambra people to conduct their lawful businesses,” he said.
Oye restated the confidence of APGA in the ability and willingness of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to conduct free and fair election, adding that it is in the Commission’s own interest to do so.
He predicted that his party would be victorious at the end.
Also speaking, Chief Ndubusi Nwobu, the Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Anambra, said the presence of the security agencies has boosted the chances that the election will be both widely participatory and successful.
Nwobu, however, said the personnel should be kept in check to ensure they don’t traumatise the people instead of giving them confidence.
“They should be able to crystalise the situation and go for trouble makers, they should be civil in dealing with the people, already, there is tension in the air,” he said.
Nwobu called on the electorate to come out en masse and cast their votes for the PDP and its candidate, Mr Valentine Ozigbo.
Meanwhile, most people of the state have expressed their willingness to cast their votes on Saturday. (NAN)