In a democracy, there is nothing that can be more reassuring than the confidence that one’s vote counts or that the genuine wishes of the people are respected in every electoral contest.
Prior to the recently concluded Anambra State governorship election, virtually all parts of the State were inundated with blood cuddling fears of uncertainty and predictions of crises, that resulted in escalated spate of insecurity; including attacks on INEC’s facilities, police stations, party rallies and even human persons, perceived to be supporting governorship election in the State.
And, these horrendous activities of unidentified persons popularly nicknamed “Unknown Gunmen’, rose to crescendo in and around the perimeter boundaries of the State, yet these challenges claimed the lives of many unsuspecting citizens of the State.
There were suspicions that the Nigerian government’s proscribed IPOB, was behind the attacks, probably to enforce their earlier canvassed threats of “No election”.
Though, some school of thoughts equally accused politicians of being accomplices.
Amid these concerns, the Independent National Electoral Commission’s (INEC) Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, enjoined the Anambra State election officials to deliver a free and fair election and also ensure that every single vote counts during the poll. He further urged them to remain true to the commitment that only the voters in Anambra State should determine who becomes the next governor of the state.
The Nigeria Police Force, in a bid, to forestall possible breakdown of law and order during the poll, pushed over 34,000 policemen into the state.
However, the eventual outcome of the much dreaded poll, reflected the aspirations of the people, that even those that lost were fulfilled with the conduct, transparency and credibility of the poll, hence the barrage of congratulatory messages for the governor-elect.
News Echo therefore, commends the diligence and the unshaken determination by INEC, to hold the election as scheduled, despite the challenging situation.
We also applaud, Anambra citizens for their resilience and courage in defending their votes that finally counted.
And, it is our trust that this commendable feat continues, even in future.