The much anticipated November 6, 2021 is hours away, a day Ndi Anambra will choose between continuity or paradigm shift from the status quo.
It is a day for both the political actors, observers and voters to see their curiosity assuaged or delayed through wrong choices.
Indeed, the much talked about Anambra Governorship election has finally come for Anambrarains to make that bold statement of critically examining the 17 candidates properly with a view to voting correctly.
Despite the various upheavals, ranging from threats posed by unknown gunmen, who attack convoys, the sit-at-home order by the Indigenous People of Biafra, (IPOB) to heavy presence of security operatives prior the election, it is going to be a tension soaked exercise considering all that has happened and the calibre of candidates involved.
Amid all these, it is expected that Anambrarians will come out en masse to vote in their preferred candidate and someone among the 17 candidates who will take Anambrarians to the promised land. This is not a time to make wrong choices especially now that Nigerians are finding it difficult on daily basis to meet up with daunting challenges.
It is also incumbent on the electorate to resist the temptation of accepting some form of inducement or stomach infrastructure to vote for a certain candidate. Do I need to remind the electorate that selling their votes for a pot of soup, is tantamount to selling one’s conscience and jeopardizing his future for the next four years.
Anambrarains should know that four years is a long time to correct the mistake of today, hence the need to make right choices. It shouldn’t be a money making exercise, rather one that should give Ndi Anambra an opportunity to choose someone to steer the affairs of the state for the next four years.
There is no gainsaying the fact that the candidates themselves know exactly the different encumbrances, expectations and sacredness of the office they aspire to occupy having done their campaigns, and made pledges. Worthy of mention is the fact that any of the candidates who emerges the winner should redeem his pledges.
Politics in the Nigerian context should go beyond abracadabra or propaganda, the citizenry who have suffered so much deserve dividends of democracy which have eventually run deficit.
Any of the candidates who emerges winner should run an all inclusive government, relegate to the background, discriminatory tendencies which politicians in Nigeria are known for that has impeded development.
The truth remains that any politician vying for elective position, should hollistically draw inference from the division in the country and carve a niche for himself. It should not be a case of this LGA or community did not vote for me.
It is not out of place to state here that the success of any electoral process rests solely on the electoral umpire. That said, the Independent Electoral Commission, (INEC), having planned the Anambra Governorship election for years, should indeed show how prepared they are.
Elections in Nigeria in the past, have often been marred by irregularities, late arrival of electoral materials at polling units, poor accreditation of eligible voters, failure of card readers to function effectively among other drawbacks.
It is expected that INEC will show how prepared they are in this election as this will authenticate the future of Nigerian electoral process. INEC has an onerous and enormous task to deliver a free, fair and credible election that will suit the expectations of Nigerians and that of the International community who have their eyes fixed on the outcome of the much anticipated Governorship election.
Again, having witnessed heavy presence of security operatives in the State prior the election, it is believed that they will exhibit high sense professionalism which, in this context, entails that they resist the temptation of taking sides with any of the political parties.
Since elections can not thrive in an atmosphere of insecurity, it is expected that the security operatives maintain law and order during and after the election. In doing this, they are also required by law, to stand aloof in carrying out this all important task.
The security operatives involved in the Anambra election, must resist intimidation of the electorate or opponents of the highest bidder as has been alleged in the past. There is no doubt that this goes contrary to their electoral duties.
If all the various compartments involved in the election synergise, then Anambrarians will gladly come out en masse to exercise their franchise to the fullest.
There should be no form of intimidation by security operatives as this will definitely instil fear in the electorate and encourage political apathy which has always been experienced in the South-East region.
Indeed, Anambrarians will be faced with the challenge of voting for continuity or a paradigm shift from the current status quo. Whichever way it goes, Anambrarians have their own destinies in their own hands to claim.
(By Izuchukwu Nwokoma, Journalist and a Public Affairs Analyst).