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Anambra polls: No security orderlies on election day - INEC, Police warn guber candidates

By The Citizen

Towards the November 16 gubernatorial elections in Anambra State, the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Attahiru Jega and the Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Mohammed Abubakar, on Wednesday, warned the candidates against using security orderlies attached to them on Election Day.

The Inspector-General of Police said any orderly found with any of the 23 candidates would be arrested on the spot and subsequently dismissed from the force.

Abubakar also gave the same warning to federal and state legislators as well as serving elected officials.

Jega and Abubakar spoke at the stakeholders' forum organised by INEC in Anambra State held at the Women Development Centre in Awka ahead of the November 16, 2013 governorship election.

It is the first time such a stern warning is coming from INEC and the police since the conduct of elections under the leadership of Jega.

This latest warning came amid concerns by some candidates that their opponents had planned to use security agents to intimidate the electorate in designated areas in order to manipulate the process.

According to Jega, it has been observed that the movement by candidates with armed guards is one of the reasons that cause conflict in polling units.

The INEC boss said, 'Candidates will not be allowed with armed guards to move around on Election Day because it is what has been identified to cause conflicts in the past. We will adhere strictly to restricted movement during the election.

'If you have agents in the polling units, they should be able to tell you what is happening. It is an offence for these categories of persons to move around and we charge the security agencies with ensuring that they do not move, except to their polling units on that day.'

'All the 23 political parties were provided with the updated voters list. The idea is for them to identify any problem and get back to us but none of them did. I regret to say that even though they didn't, we identified an error a few days ago and we have corrected it. We will redistribute the corrected list before the election.

Jega disclosed that as part of measures to ensure the conduct of credible poll, the commission had introduced distinct colour codes of ballot papers and result sheets for the three senatorial districts in the state.

Reiterating the position of Jega on the ban placed on armed orderlies, the IGP said, 'The ban is total, whether you are a candidate or lawmaker. Any orderly used by politicians on that day will be arrested and he stands dismissal afterwards.

'Note too, no government official should say he is monitoring election, if you do, we will not only impound your vehicle but get you arrested. We have resolved that anybody who is seen with policeman that is not accredited by INEC for the election will be arrested.'

Abubakar also said that each of the three senatorial zones would be coordinated by a commissioner of police with a detachment of two units of mobile policemen consisting of 120 men per unit, adding that for the first time, INEC has the details of all the security personnel that will be posted to the 4, 608 polling units and the 6, 581 voting points.