Anambra Guber: Rights Group Raises The Alarm Over Arms Proliferation

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The chairman of Anambra State Civil Society Network (ANSCONET), Mr Chris Azor has raised alarm that there large quantity of small arms and other dangerous weapon illegally being possessed by persons in the state, and, urged the security agencies to move fast and recover them so that those having them would not use them to cause violence during the forthcoming November 18 governorship poll in the state.

He stated this yesterday during a stakeholders’ round- table conference organized in Awka, the Anambra state capital by the National Orientation Agency ( NOA) in collaboration with a German foundation, Konrad Adenauer Stftung ( KAS) towards making the state governorship election a free, fair and credible exercise.

According to Azor " If you go to everywhere in the state you will find many short guns and other dangerous weapons like axe in wrong hands, people who don’t have license to possess them. The danger is that if these guns are not recovered from them before the governorship election, they might use them to cause violence during election. The practice all over the world is that when election is approaching like this, the security agencies, especially the police will carry out a mop up exercise to recover all guns in the hands of wrong persons so that those who have them will not use t to harass and intimidate people at the polling units".

He further tasked the Independent National Electoral Commission ( INEC) to make hast be distribute Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs) available to registered voters to ensure that no voter was disenfranchised during the governorship polls.

In his address the Director general of the NOA,</a> Garba Abari charged members of the political parties in the election and the candidates to conduct themselves in a manner that would garantee a free a free and fair election.

He charged them to desist from hate speeches, but embrace issue- based campaign.

Representative of KAS, Mr. Uche Nwosu stated the foundation named of the pioneer German president, was committed promoting the growth of democracy and rule of law in Nigeria, and urged stakeholders in the forthcoming governorship election in Anambra state to play by the rules.

The Administrative Secretary of the INEC in the state, Mr. Charles Mbanaja pledged that the commission would provide a level playing group to all the political parties and their candidates in the election, adding the Commission would ensure that all registered voters were provided with their PVCs before the day of the poll.

Deputy Commissioner of police in charge of Operation at the state police command, Mr. Mike Okoli who represented the Commissioner of police, Mr. Garba Umar stated that the command was ready to ensure that the election was held in a peaceful atmosphere adding that the command had made available telephone hotlines through which members of the public could contact the command in case of any act of lawlessness during the poll for prompt action.