Ahead of the November 6th Governorship election in Anambra State, a Civil Society Organisation, Yiaga Africa has reported violent clashes between communities and groups over boundary and leadership positions. This was contained in its second Pre-election observation report where it admonished INEC TO step up its engagements with security agencies, to tackle violation of electoral codes (buying and voter inducement) and electoral violence indicators. However, this cannot be immediately established if the conflicts are connected to the upcoming elections but this has been considered as an early warning signal in elections.
In the report titled “INEC Intensifies Election Preparatory Activities Amidst Security Threats in Anambra”, Yiaga Africa raised critical security concerns which according to the CSO is early warning signs and indicators of elections violence.
Yiaga Africa said it observed violent conflict between different communities over issues of boundaries and leadership positions. Specifically, it says, “On September 16th, 2021 a violent conflict violent conflict between different communities over issues of boundaries and leadership positions over boundaries erupted between the Ukpo community in Dunukofia LGA and the Abba community in Njikoka LGA of Anambra State”.
Also, Yiaga Africa reported incident of violence in the contest for a leadership position in the Engugu-Otu community in Anambra East LGA that led to the death of the community head was reported.
Similarly, according to the report, “the activities of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) in Anambra State poses a serious threat to the smooth preparation of the upcoming election. As observed and reported in the first reporting period by the Watching The Vote (WTV) LTOs, there is a continued increase in the activities of the secessionist group/supporters across the 21 LGA. Specifically, in this period, WTV observed the addition of 2 days to the number of days declared for the “Sit at Home” order. Previously, Mondays were the only days declared, however, Tuesday (September 14 2021) and Friday (September 17 2021) were added in the last reporting period.”
Yiaga Africa further calls on all relevant security agencies to take appropriate steps in addressing the rising security challenge in Anambra state ahead of the November 6th, election, saying that security is paramount to the peaceful conduct of elections. The CSO also, urged political party candidates and supporters to shy away from any form of physical or verbal attacks to ensure credible and peaceful elections. “Political parties and candidates should desist from the inducement of voters, and invest in issues-based campaigns”, it said.