By Chioma Gabriel, Deputy Editor
The Anambra State Association,World (ASA-World) hasÂ called on all Anambra state citizens to exercise their rights and fulfill their civic duty during todayâ€™s gubernatorial election. The body also calls on the citizens to come out en masse to vote so thatÂ Anambra will make history by giving their mandate to the candidate of their choice.
The ASA-World is an umbrella association organization of all Anambra State Associations worldwide.Â In a statement signed by: Mrs. Grace C. Clark, ASA-World Monitoring Team Coordinator; Chief Sabbi Nweke, Monitoring Team Chair (Chairperson ASA-USA BOT); Chief Chris Onuorah, Monitoring Team Co-Chair (President ASA_UK); Mr. Chudi Asidianya, President ASA-Canada; Mr. Frank Anyaeche, President ASA-South Africa and Dr. Chris Ulasi, V.P. ASA-USA, the group said that theirs is aÂ non-partisan organization with a missionÂ to ensure that the democratic process is followed and thatÂ all the citizensâ€™ votes are counted, protected and accurately reported.
In carrying out this mission, the ASA-World has sent an election monitoring team represented by delegates from ASA-USA,ASA-UK, ASA-Ireland, ASA-South Africa and ASA-Canada. The team has already arrived in Anambra State and has commenced operations and initiated the necessary machinery that will help to continuously observe, monitor and instantly report on all the activities that transpire during the election.
â€œThe ASA-World strongly condemns political violence, election rigging, voter intimidation, falsification of records and inaccurate reporting of election results.â€
In the statement, the group commends the maturity and absence of violence displayed to date by all political parties and politicians in Anambra state.
â€œ We equally commend the security forces for the high level of presence they have shown across the entire state.Â We however, call on all the security forces to ensure that there is effective prevention and control of any kind of violence, and to ensure that human life and property are protected in Anambra state during this gubernatorial election.
â€œAs the nation and the world watch the democratic process unfold during this gubernatorial election in the state, the Anambra citizens, the politicians, the candidates and all other stakeholders owe Anambra state and Nigeria the duty to ensure that todayâ€™s gubernatorial election is free and fair.Â Failure to achieve this will undermine the democratic principles in the state and Nigeriaâ€.
The group also urged the Independence National Electoral Commission (INEC) as the umpire of this historic election to ensure that the Anambra state gubernatorial election is free and fair.Â â€œINECâ€™s past record has been nothing short of regrettable for Nigerian democracy, and, starting with Anambra, it must judiciously cleanse itself in order to earn public trust in the conduct of future elections. We are optimistic that a successful Anambra election will be aÂ fitting nod to Nigeriaâ€™s fledgling democracy.Â We call for free and fair election and for justice to be done.â€