*Says “moneybags, thugs, terrorize our officials*
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has branded Ihiala Local Government Area
of Anambra State as the most challenging council area in the state where the commission fears to send its officials during elections sequel to activities of political thugs and money bags.
[Cover photo: INEC Resident Commissioner, Nwatarali after accepting the copies of the group chart from Chairman of Ihiala Grassroot Initiative]
The INEC State Resident Electoral Commissioner in Anambra, Engr. Edwin Nwatarali, disclosed this while receiving the executive members of Ihiala Grassroot Progressive Initiative in his office.
He lamented that the type of arms and ammunition being brandished by politicians in the council at every election was worrisome, even as he added that it took armed Soldiers intervention to salvage their officials from the council during the 2015 polls.
Group picture of the group with INEC Admin Secretary shortly after the visit
His words: “Ihiala people need constant voters’ education from kindred to associations/institutions, wards to Local Government level because activities of political gladiators and interest at the council area are quiet alarming.
“They hardly play the game according to the rule. To most of them election is either a do-or-die affairs Once is election time, you will see the moneybags and their thugs brandishing all kinds of weapons to eliminate their political opponents.
“It is terrible! It took God’s grace to salvage our officials from them at 2015 polls. The police and their weapons could not scare the thugs, who were armed with modern sophisticated weapons. It was quick intervention of armed Nigerian soldiers that saved our officials from the daredevil.
“At every election, they will come to us pleading for help. When you ask what kind of help they needed from you, they will quickly ask you to name your price vowing to pay in cash, checks or appointment just for you to rig the election to their favour”, he added.
He further stressed that the Commission also need well-equipped collation centre due to non-conducive accommodation and infrastructural decay where they currently inhibit.
Speaking earlier, Barr Nsofor Chukwuemeka, Chairman of Ihiala Grassroot Progressive Initiative, while disclosing that the association was non-profit NGO, explained that they came to seek partnership with INEC in resolving whatever challenges facing the commission at every poll in the council.
Okechukwu Onuegbu, Awka