By Vincent Ujumadu
AWKA—SECURITY was yesterday beefed up at the Anambra State headquarters of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, over alleged bomb explosion near the gate of the commission.
This came as the INEC national chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu warned Anambra staff of INEC against involvement in electoral fraud.
Following the alleged blast, bomb disposal experts had been deployed to the commission’s office. When Vanguard visited INEC, a large number of policemen were seen occupying two pick-up vehicles.
Though the Resident Electoral Commissioner REC, Dr Nkwachukwu Orji, said that there was nothing like that, some INEC staff said they were afraid to stay in their offices.
The state Police Public Relations Officer, Princess Nkeiruka Nwode, also said that she was not aware of the incident, adding however, that the deployment of bomb disposal experts at the INEC office was part of preparations for Saturday’s governorship election. .
Meanwhile, the INEC chairman, Mahmood Yakubu, who addressed the staff of the commission at the INEC state headquarters Awka warned that anybody caught in the web of electoral malpractice would be dealt with in accordance with the law.
He said: “Every INEC worker must ensure that we all achieve our set goal of making Anambra November 18 governorship election flawless and historic.
“INEC will be conducting two elections in Anambra on November 18, which are the governorship election and the state assembly election for Idemili North State Constituency, and you must discharge your duties diligently.
“There are many people out there working seriously to see that the commission fails in its commitment to record free, fair and credible election and you must have this at the back of your mind.
“INEC will get rid of you, if you do the wrong thing, and you are aware that those caught in the web of such negative act during the conduct of 2015 election are still facing the music.”
The INEC chairman said he had about one month ago provided money and other logistics needed for the smooth conduct of the Anambra elections and advised unit heads to work closely with their subordinates.
According to him, the deployment of materials to the local governments would commence tomorrow, while the sensitive materials would be shared a day before the election.
He also directed those who would work at the polling units to ensure that they got there by 8am on the day of the election to ensure that the exercise works according to plan, assuring that if they achieved the set goal in the conduct of flawless governorship election in Anambra, he would organize a special dinner party for the Anambra INEC staff.
INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner, Dr Nkwachukwu Orji assured the national chairman that staff of the commission in the state were already in the mood to achieve a hitch-free election in the state.