The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Monday raised the alarm over reports in social media that thousands of its trained ad hoc staff who are to conduct the Anambra State Governorship election on November 6 have resigned.
This may not be unconnected with the threat by members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) that the federal government should release Mazi Nnamdi Kanu on or before the 4th of November 2021 or there would be no election in Anambra State.
IPOB also threatened sit-at-home orders from 5th to 10th of the same month except on Sunday until Nnamdi Kanu is released.
The fake report had it that the ad-hoc staff in their large nimbers allegedly returned tables, chairs, and electoral kits distributed to them by the electoral body back to the INEC headquarters in Awka the state capital.
The ad-hoc staff was also alleged to have asked the INEC to delist their names from the list of those to conduct the poll.
President Muhammadu Buhari had mandated the country’s Service Chiefs to ensure that the November 6th Governorship election in Anambra State is held at all cost.
Stakeholders in the state including the state government, Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, and lawyers have cautioned IPOB against the move to truncate the scheduled poll as it would further deplete the economic fortunes of the state and Ndigbo at large.
Public Relations Officer (PRO) INEC in Anambra State, Mr. Reginald Onyeukwu told ThisNigeria on the telephone that “There was no such thing as the resignation of any Adhoc staff in the state.”
Onyeukwu explained that “The election will go on as scheduled and we are ready for smooth conduct of the exercise. Nobody trained as Ad-hoc staff has resigned, we train all the ad-hoc staff in primary or secondary schools and we did not give them tables or chairs. It is fake news; I am just hearing it for the first time. There is no such thing as a mass resignation of INEC ad-hoc staff.”
However, political parties are upbeat with campaign tours to various communities and 21 local government areas of the state.
The move is to beat the INEC deadline for campaigns by all the parties ahead of the epic battle next month.