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NOA urges Anambra electorate to shun electoral violence



AS THE November 6 gubernatorial election in Anambra State is fast drawing near, the Director, National Orientation Agency (NOA), Anambra State Directorate, Charles Nwoji, has advised the people of the state to eschew all forms of electoral violence that are capable of marring the election.

  The NOA Director, who gave the advice during a one-day peace seminar organised by the Rotary Clubs of Awka Central and Nnamdi Azikiwe University in collaboration with the NOA, Anambra State Directorate, at Crescent Spring Hotel, Awka, described an election as“a contest and sportsmanship, but not a war” and enjoined the eligible voters in the state to ensure that they exercise their civic rights by coming out en masse on the November 6 to choose the next governor of the state.

  Stressing that the state has not been known as a hot bed or spot of violence during elections, Nwoji appealed to the people to comport themselves in the best manner they could as the electoral processes last.

  The NOA boss further called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC)  and security agencies in the state to put all hands on deck to ensure that the election is held as stipulated, pointing  out that a number of people have been expressing misgivings over the lull in the current political activities of the state.

  While noting that Rotary Club possesses the potential required to deliver on a message of peace in the state and elsewhere, he maintained that NOA partners with the club with a view to ensuring that a campaign against political apathy and violence among ndi Anambra is achieved during the election.

  In their separate speeches, the Presidents, Rotary Clubs of Awka Central, and Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Michael Onyekachi Iruka, and Onwudiwe Glenn Chukwuemeka respectively, explained that Rotary Club had been in the forefront of promoting peace all over the world, saying that the essence of the seminar was to encourage the citizens to exercise their civic responsibility by obtaining their voters’ cards and shunning violence during the November 6 election.

  They advised the electorate to vote for a competence candidate of their choice at the poll and appealed to the youth to identify with the club or any other organisations that have interest in the peaceful conduct of the election.

  In a lecture entitled, “Promoting Peace through Citizens’ Participation in Election”, the INEC Election Manager in the state, Lechukwu Ugomma, frowned at what she called outlandish attitude of using permanent voters’ cards for only bank transaction by some electorate, even as she encouraged the people to allow their votes to count at the poll, but shun negative tendencies that could escalate unnecessary tension and apathy.

  The peace seminar whose theme is “The Roles of INEC  and Civic Responsibilities of Citizens on  Anambra Election”, was attended by the  District Governor of District 9142, Dr Okechuwu Okonkwo, represented by the Secretary of the District, Christian Chinedu Agala; a former Assistant Governor of the District 1942, Dr Dennis Ekemezie; the Chairman in charge of Peace Building and Conflict Prevention of the club, Timothy  Nwabunwanne; the  President, Students Union Government, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Ani Chukwuma among others while the recitation of the Rotary Songs by the participants  added glamour to the event.

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