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Fearful Anambra residents trickle to polling boots

Voters in the Anambra governorship election are still afraid to step out of their houses, despite assurances of safety by the state governor, Willie Obiano, the Police Commissioner, Echeng Echeng and relaxation of sit-at-home order by the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB).

IPOB had on Thursday, suspended the earlier announced sit-at-home order billed to commence on November 5 in the south east. In a statement by its Director of Publicity, Emma Powerful, IPOB said that it has to suspend the order following the appeal by the elders in the south east coupled with the grave economic implications of the action on the people.

It urged the people of Anambra state to come out and vote at the governorship election, without any form of intimidation or fears.

“Following the genuine intervention of our elders, esteemed traditional Institutions /Rulers and Religious Leaders, and after a due consideration of the positive impacts of their engagement, and sequel to the fact that our elders have spoken in our terms, the leadership of IPOB ably led by Mazi Nnamdi Kanu hereby and immediately calls off the one-week sit-at-home order earlier declared to commence tomorrow, November 5 to November 10, 2021.

“The people of Anambra State should go out enmasse and peacefully exercise their franchise come 6th November 2021  and accordingly, chose a leader of their choice  and should not be intimidated by anybody, group of persons or security agents”, the statement added.

In similar vein, the police in the state, had assured of adequate protection to the voters. In a television appearance monitored by our reporter, the commissioner, Echeng, maintained that all the exit and entry points in the state had been fortified by his men to avert any beak down of law and order.  Following on this, the governor had asked the voters to come out early to cast their votes.

Despite the assurances, some voters are still scared of coming out of their houses. Olisa James, a resident of Awka, the state capital told our correspondent that he is not in a hurry to get out of his house. “We have been hearing of similar assurances in the past. I don’t want to take any risk. I am not stepping out of my house today, unless I am convinced that the coast is clear”, he said on phone.

Chidi Onyekwelu, a teacher in Ihiala, Ekwusigo local government area, was emphatic that no member of his family would go out, stressing that his fear is not only on miscreants attacking them but security men in the area that are making life difficult for the people. I am not prepared to be molested by any boy or girl in police or army uniform. They are even giving us more problem here than IPOB people”, he lamented.

Adaeze Ike, Nnewi resident, simply said, “I will watch the situation and decide whether to go and vote or not”.  But for Christian Ibe, a motor parts dealer in Ekwuluobia, Aguata council, there is no cause for alarm. “I will go and cast my vote. I have nothing to fear”, he stated.