Some People Are Threatening Me – Anambra Electoral Commission Boss
Sylvester Okonkwo, the Chairman, Anambra State Independent Electoral Commission, on Monday said the commission was poised to conduct credible polls in the state.
Okonkwo said this was in spite of text messages and phone calls from unknown persons threatening his life.
Okonkwo stated in Awka, the state capital, while releasing the election guidelines and time table for the conduct of local council elections in the state scheduled for October 5, that he had received many of such threats.
He said: “They call me at night threatening me that they will kill me and even burn down ANSIEC building.
“That the previous mayhem visited on the state would be a joke.
“I am however determined to go on with the exercise not minding the activities of the detractors.”
He urged the political parties and stakeholders participating in the polls to ensure that internal democracy was entrenched in their various political parties through free, fair and credible primaries.
Okonkwo said that the commission would not entertain multiple candidates from any party.
He said all factions were expected to reconcile and present a common candidate for the election.
He said any political party that failed to abide by the rules would face automatic disqualification.
He also said that the commission would not tolerate any court injunction to truncate the exercise.
The chairman said the chairmanship aspirants should be minimum of 30 years old while the counsellorship aspirants were expected to be at least 25 years.
Okonkwo said the commission would soon embark on a sensitisation tour of the 21 local government areas to educate the people on their civic responsibilities toward the conduct of the election.
However, the spokesman of the Anambra State Police Command, Emeka Chukwuemeka, told the News Agency of Nigeria on telephone that he was not aware of any threat to the life of the ANSIEC boss.
Chukwuemeka, a Deputy Superintendent of Police, said: “If there is any thing like threat to the life of the acting chairman of the commission, I am not aware.
“No report of such has come.
“If his life is being threatened, he should make a formal report to the office of the CP, who will provide security for him.”
Meanwhile, the Transition Committee Chairman for Anambra East Council Area, Chinedu Obidigwe, has described the release of the election guideline and time table as a mark of commitment on the part of the commission.
Obidigwe said that the polls would enable political parties to test their popularity ahead of the governorship poll in the state.
Obidigwe, who is also the President, Anambra Youth Assembly, said the election, if conducted as scheduled, would transform the economic and social lives of the youth in the state.
“The polls would further broaden the minds of the youth on the real concept of democracy as they would be elected into positions of leadership,” he said.