By Ikechukwu Okaforadi
Ahead of the governorship election coming up in Anambra State this Saturday, Senator Stella Oduah (PDP Anambra North) has urged the people of the State to come out en masse to exercise their franchise in the election.
Oduah who stated this yesterday in Abuja while fielding questions from journalists on the coming election, advised registered voters in the state to disregard any call for boycott of the election from any quarters, as according to her, doing so, may be an invitation to declaration of state of emergency in the state by the federal government since there is no other way a governor can emerge except through the ballot .
She said: “With seven days to the much awaited gubernatorial election in our dear state, I call on all Anambarians irrespective of political persuasions to please come out enmasse to vote for candidates of their choice and not stay indoors as being urged by some people.
“There is no any situation on ground in the state warranting anybody not to come out and vote for candidate of his or her choice.
“Our constitution does not allow for half a minute space between the incumbent tenure being over and the next tenure. Therefore if we fail to come out and cast our vote to have a new governor, what will happen is that the Federal Government will provide an administrator and declare a state of emergency.
“It means that democracy will elude us. The administrator that would be governing us would not be who we voted for or who we desire; that is not what we want”.
According to her, interest of the state and nothing more, should come first in the minds of all Anambarians at this time.
She therefore charged political leaders in the state to call on their followers to come out and vote en masse at the November 18 exercise saying “doing otherwise will not augur well for people in the state, as there won’t be any chief executive to be held accountable for good governance”.
“What Anambra needs now more than anything is peace, we need peace for progress, we need peace for security, we need peace to sustain the development that is coming and that has come. We do not need violence, we have had enough killings, thank God we have security in Anambra more than most states, we must make sure that is sustained.
“We have been enjoying a very peaceful and secured state, people are now home-bound, investments are coming, human capital is being developed. To sustain that and to ensure that we are not disenfranchised, we must not stay at home on the 18th, we must exercise our civic rights. Nobody should voluntarily disenfranchise himself or herself, it is an abnormality”, she added.
The Senstor’s appeal may not be unconnected with the call made by the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) last week threatening Anambra voters with death if they vote at the forthcoming election.
But in a swift reaction, the Anambra State Police Command has asked residents of the state to go out en masse to exercise their franchise on the day of the election without any fear of molestation or attack from any quarters.
Police Public Relations Office, Nkeiruka Nwode, said the state police command had concluded arrangements for effective policing of the state during the election.