By G9ija

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) said the sit-at-home order by the pro-Biafra group, IPOB, may threaten its preparations for the November 6 governorship election in Anambra State.

INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner in Anambra, Nkwachukwu Orji, said this on Thursday while speaking with reporters in Nibo, Awka South Local Government Area of the state.

He spoke shortly after the opening ceremony of the Election Monitoring and Support Centre (EMSC) Amber Zone Implementers Workshop held in the state.

Mr Orji also disclosed that the commission had so far recruited and mobilised about 25, 000 Ad hoc staff that will man the 5, 720 polling units in the state.

He said attacks on INEC facilities on May 23 were a source of worry to the commission, especially as it strives to achieve huge success in the forthcoming election.

“Our preparations are on course, even with all the challenges we are facing, such as the attacks on our state office on May 23rd and the sit-at-home order, which is eating into our preparations.

“But we are doing our best to ensure that we overcome these challenges and we can only urge the public to be law-abiding in order to achieve the desired electoral success in the state,” he said.

Mr Orji said the commission was already recruiting ad-hoc staff online and at the same time interacting with concerned parties.

He expressed satisfaction at what the commission had achieved so far, in terms of human structure.

Mr Orji said if the success continued without future interruptions of its activities, the commission would confidently be ready to conduct a free, fair and peaceful election.

He, however, dismissed claims by some persons that the commission’s earlier decision to supply non-sensitive materials for the election from its Southeast zonal store in Owerri, Imo, would jeopardise the smooth conduct of the poll.

“The sensitive materials will go to the Central Bank of Nigeria branch in Awka. But we are not talking about sensitive materials here. So there is no need for the alarm being raised.

“The commission is working according to plans to put all things in place by the end of this month.

“Election process is something that does not have room for mistakes. We make sure that in the process of preparing for the election, all that is needed would be on the ground,” he said.

He added that the commission had developed a system for monitoring activities closely, to make sure that all programmes and plans were well executed without failure.

Mr Orji said, as a mark of its seriousness for credible election, INEC officials reviewed what he called the Amber zone, three months before the election.

“The exercise will take us to the red zone, which is 11 days before the election day, and two days after the election, which is the most critical period in any election,” he said.