The inclusion of Mr. Lawrence Nwuruku, the former chairman of the Ebonyi State PDP, as one of the Commission’s special Commissioner

Chief-Lawrence-NwurukuAmbassador(Picture shows: Mr. Lawrence Nwuruku)

The International Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law wishes to
remind the Independent National Electoral Commission on the urgent need to
re-scrutinize all its newly recruited adhoc staff or workers that will
work for the Commission in the all-important Anambra Governorship
Election, fixed for this Saturday, November 16, 2013. This is to ensure
that card-carrying party members are not recruited as collection officers,
returning officers, presiding officers, etc and to avoid a repeat of the
2011 Anambra Central Senatorial poll incident, during which an adhoc INEC
returning officer, one Mr. Alex Anene[AN ACN CARD CARRYING MEMBER]
went and announced the poll result in an Awka hotel.

Similarly, the inclusion of Mr. Lawrence Nwuruku, the former chairman of
the Ebonyi State PDP, as one of the Commission’s special Commissioners for
the crucial poll is totally frowned at and protested against by our
organization. Our firm opposition to Mr. Nwuruku’s inclusion stems from
the fact that he is a career politician and a well known card carrying
member of the PDP of the immediate past. Many people in Anambra State are
uncomfortable with his inclusion as one of the Commission’s special
commissioners for the Anambra governorship poll. Every indication clearly
points to his inclusion as patently and manifestly bias. It is our call
that his name should be removed and another fairly neutral name included.
Ascertaining the true particulars of the adhoc staff recruited by INEC
for the poll is extremely important. Recruiting card carrying members of
political parties, smuggled into the Commission by their parties with
indoctrinated scripts, are very dangerous and have the capacity of
rubbishing the credibility of the poll as well as ruining the image of
the Commission. The “coupist” announcement in a hotel, of the senatorial
poll results for the Anambra Central Senatorial District and the
sectional roles played by the electronic and print media therein, is one
of such disasters that must be avoided in this respect. Proper policing
and monitoring of INEC’s adhoc staff in all the 4,608 polling centers in
the State including ensuring that they do not compromise by allowing
rooms for holders of faked voters’ cards and non-voters’ card bearers to
vote, for a fee, is extremely necessary.
We have credible reports that registered voters are being hunted and
haunted in their houses with inducement packages all over the State
including Ogbaru, Onitsha South, Onitsha North, Oyi, Nnewi North, Nnewi
South, Aguata, Anambra East and Anambra West LGAs of the State. Such
compromised registered voters are made to tender their cards for
extraction of their polling unit pin numbers and other relevant code
numbers. Some members of the public who do not have voters’ cards are
also hunted and asked to bring their passport photos and other personal
particulars such as residence address, age, gender, ancestral origin,
phone numbers, e-mail addresses etc.
The latter is designed for the purpose of “creating” voters cards for
them, with a promise by their inducers to sort out the INEC staff manning
voters’ accreditation exercise on Election Day so as to allow them vote in
off voter register manner. These criminal and morally reprehensible
conducts by some desperate political parties and their candidates are
incorporated in their so-called “house to house campaigns”. One of the
political parties that commenced the said “house to house campaigns” in
earliest time is the APC. The exercise was later embraced by other parties
including Labour and APGA. Our firm position is that INEC should
re-scrutinize its entire adhoc staff both senior and junior and flush out
or ground those found to be injected by political parties or with selfish
political interests.
The all-important Anambra governorship poll will be conducted in the 4,608
polling centers, 326 electoral wards, 21 LGAs and 3 Senatorial zones in
the State. It is also our call that the Nigerian security agencies led by
the Nigeria Police Force should brace up for the challenges posed by
obvious desperation of some political parties and their candidates to be
returned as the winner through acts of political gangsterism and
Ominous signs are all over the place that except INEC and security
agencies do and get it right without fear or favour, otherwise, Anambra
will be set ablaze during or/and after the poll. The role of the media in
the important poll is also very crucial. Sensational and sectional media
reports of the poll conducts are as dangerous as security lapses and
breaches during the poll. Such reports should be ignored by the poll
conductors and security providers and not allowed to distract them or make
them lose focus, which will give room for the alarmists and their
paymasters to have a crooked edge over the collective electoral interest
of the Anambra People. Other than these, credible media alarms and reports
during the poll should be taken seriously and addressed promptly.
Finally, there are credible reports that our dear State of Anambra is
flooded with Lorries of “dregs of the society” and quartered in various
hotels and other hiding places for the d-day to come. Many of these
“dregs” are “retreatists”, who are “forest or jungle warriors” that have
“downed many heads” to their “bravely”. If allowed an iota of breathing
space in the crucial poll, they will down more heads and drink their
biological water with impunity. It is to the information of Nigerian
security agencies that Lorries of these “clearers of road for the person
(man) wey sabi” are very much around in town. And they should be confined
to the “spectators’ corners” and not allowed into the playing ground so as
to avert “downing heads” and emptying their killer “cashew nuts” into the
ballot boxes for the purpose of producing Anambra’s next governor through
“dead and non living votes”.
To this effect, all the 4,608 polling centers in the State especially in
urban and river-line areas must be manually and forensically policed with
clearly designated strategic “nipping points” and rapid respond squads.
More than deployment of armoured personnel carriers in strategic exits and
entries in the State, the RRS formations should be stationed very closed
to every polling/collection center. Other than those rapid response squads
to be placed for general stationing and patrolling of strategic outer
places including roads and routes in the State, there is need to create
and station about 1,600 special rapid response squads and put all the
4,608 polling centers and their collection centers under their competent
care. This will be on average of one RRS for three polling
centers/collection center. Each RRS should be made up of joint uniformed
securitization personnel with their rapid response electronic and manual
contacts made available to core stake holders in the poll.

Emeka Umeagbalasi, Chairman of the Board
International Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law
08033601078, 08180103912
Comrade Justus Ijeoma, Head, Publicity Desk

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