As the people of Anambra State hit the polling units to decide, who will lead them in the next four years, Yiaga Africa has predicted possible reduction in the number of eligible voters, who would exercise their civic rights, due to the threats of violence.
Yiaga Africa in four of its Anambra pre-election reports orchestrated through its Watching the Vote (WTV) platform, had raised concerns over violent attacks, political intimidation, violent enforcement of the sit-at-home order and threats to shut down the region by secessionist groups.
While noting that electoral stakeholders have been more cautious, a report signed by the Yiaga Africa’s Board Member, Ezenwa Nwagwu and the Executive Director, Samson Itodo on Friday, noted that early warning signs have pinpointed Anambra East, Ogbaru LGA, Nnewi North, Orumba North and Ihiala as potential hot spots for vio-lence during the elections. The report partly reads: “Yiaga Africa notes that there may likely be a further decline in voter turnout in the state due to the threat of violence and a pervasive culture of voter apathy in the state. Low voter turnout enhances the chances for electoral manipulation in the rural areas and strongholds of the major political parties.
“The pre-election period was fraught with violence emanating from inter-communal conflicts, activities of assailants/ cult groups and increased activities of secessionist groups in the geo-political zone. The security agencies assured INEC and citizens of adequate security for the election.
“Yiaga Africa therefore urged security agencies to be non-partisan and professional in the discharge of their duties and ensure a safe Anambra State for voters to exercise their civic right in choosing the next governor of the state. Yiaga Africa also expects that the deployment of security in Anambra will be distributed across all polling units and not limited to selected locations.”