Ahead of the November 6th gubernatoral election in Anambra state, the Independent National Electoral Commission IÑEC has banned political parties from holding campaign rallies at church compounds, police stations and public offices.

Also the election body has also warned political parties not to compromise the COVID 19 pandemic protocols as directed by the Presidential Steering Committee on COVID 19 pandemic.

Similarly the body announced that the it would conduct the gubernatoral election in the newly created polling units in the state.

Going by this ban on the use of church compounds for campaigns places used for campaigns like All Saints Anglican Church field, Holy Trinity Catholic field at Saint Peter's Basilica Onitsha, Emmaus House , All Saints Catholic Church Compounds in Awka and it's equivalents in Nnewi, Ekwulobia and Ihiala would no longer be allowed by INEC for Campaign rallies.

But the electoral body did not state any penalty for political parties or their candidates that failed to adhere to the order.

Mr Festus Okoye, National Commissioner and Chairman Information, Voter Education and Publicity, INEC, Abuja disclosed this during Implementation Meeting on Voter Enlightenment and Publicity for 2021Anambra Governorship election on Tuesday in Awka.

"As some of you are aware, the new polling units created by the Commission, it will come into force during the November 6, 2021 Anambra governorship election", he said.

Okoye said the Commission was deeply saddened when the premises of its Anambra State Head Office went up in flames not too long ago, destroying buildings, equipment and utility vehicles.

"We have substantially recovered from the inferno as the Commission is not permitted to wallow in self-pity in the face of a Governorship election whose timeline is constitutionally circumscribed and cast in stone", he said.

Okoye said the Commission places high premium on the deployment of technology in the conduct of elections.

"There is no doubt that the deployment of technology in the delivery of over 26 bye elections since the 2019 general elections remarkably reduced the impact of human interferences in the outcome of the elections.

"The Commission was able to show a clear capacity to deliver credible election, ensuring more especially that the results from the polling units were not tampered with and that they reflect the will of the voters", he said.

Okoye said that INEC would deploy additional staff and materials to Anambra in the next few weeks to accelerate the continuous voters registration exercise.

According to him, "Political Parties will commence campaigns on August 8, 2021, It is important for parties to bear in mind that the country is still within the web of a global health emergency.

"Political parties and candidates are required to strictly adhere to the COVID-19 protocol contained in the statement released by the Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19 on July 30, 2021.
Political campaigns or slogans shall not be tainted with abusive language directly or indirectly likely to injure religious, ethnic, tribal or section feelings.

"Political parties are reminded that places designated for religious worship, police stations, and public offices shall not be used for political campaigns, rallies and processions", he said.

Dr Nkwachukwu Orji, Resident Electoral Commissioner INEC , Anambra said the meeting was attended by critical stakeholders in information dissemination.
Mrs Yetunde Baderinwa, state Coordinator of National Youth Service Corps assured that more than 2, 000 serving corps members in the state were in high spirits to participate in the conduct of the election.
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ANAMBRA UPDATE

Anambra Update is an independent publication, established in 2012 for the purpose of presenting balanced coverage of events, and of promoting the best interests of Anambra and Ndigbo in extention. It owes allegiance to no political party, ethnic community, religious or other interest group. Its primary commitment is to the integrity and sovereignty of the Federation of Nigeria, and beyond that to the unity and sovereignty of Igbo Social-Cultural Race

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