Some members of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), in Anambra State have vowed to steer clear of the forthcoming governorship election over declarations by the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB.
The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, often relies on corp members for the conduct of elections in all parts of the country. They are usually given roles as Presiding Officers, PO and Assistant Presiding Officers, APO 1, 2 and 3 in most polling units during elections.
But sequel to the tension currently rocking Anambra State following moves by IPOB to halt the election, corps members serving in some local government areas of the state, told DAILY POST that they are not interested in taking part in the election currently being threatened.
Recall that IPOB had ordered sit-at-home in the South-East ahead of the election in order to compel the federal government to release its leader, Nnamdi Kanu .
Speaking with journalists, a corper who identified herself as Ochanya, serving in Aniocha Local Government Area of the state, expressed fear of attack on the election day, saying the recent killings in the state birthed by the IPOB’s sit-at-home, shows the potency of their threats.
According to Ochanya, majority of corp members in the local government have vowed to shun the election despite the assurances by security agencies to ensure that the election is crisis-free.
She said, “I don’t want to die. My life is very important to my family. We have all witnessed the wrath of IPOB while they were trying to enforce the Monday sit-at-home. Many residents here have lost their lives because they violated the order.
“I pity those going for the election just because of the stipends. Even to stay in the state during the election is still a concern to me If I have my way, I will travel back to Abuja before November 24.”
Also, Mr Kenneth, popularly known as ‘Corper Ken’ told our correspondent that his parents had warned him against taking any function in the election, stressing that his life is more important than the benefits attached to the exercise.
“I know there is going to be money for those who will risk their lives to conduct the election but I’m not greedy. My life is more important than any money. IPOB mean business. My parents had even warned me to steer clear of the election so I’m out”.
Another corp member from Awka North Local Government Area of the state, who identified himself as Adebayo Fayemi said he is still deciding whether to participate in the election or not despite going through the training. According to Adebayo, the level of tension in the area two days to the election may determine his decision.
“I am very sure that the election will hold and nothing will happen, but sometimes, the fear exhibited by others, affects my courage too. Of course, no body wants to die. If by the end of November 4, the security situation is not encouraging, I will have no choice but to stay at home on the election day”, he said.
Meanwhile, the Inspector General of Police, IGP Usman Alkali Baba had on October 14, ordered the deployment of a total of 34,587 police personnel to the state ahead of the governorship election.