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Nigerian Govt Considers State Of Emergency In Southeast State Over Election

Nigerian Government said that it may have to step in to handle the chaos in Anambra state, following the “failure” of the state government to do so.

The Federal Government of Nigeria has said that it might declare a state of emergency in the Southeastern state of Anambra to ensure peaceful electoral proceedings in the upcoming governorship elections in the state.

Abubakar Malami, the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice disclosed this on Wednesday, Oct. 6, while addressing journalists at the nation’s capital, Abuja.

Malami who spoke at the end of a Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting headed by Muhammadu Buhari, Nigeria’s President said that the government has a responsibility of ensuring and sustaining democratic order, as well as protecting the lives and properties of people in the nation.

“So, within the context of these constitutional obligations of the government or the desire to establish democratic norms and order, there is no possibility that is ruled out,” he explained.

“…you cannot rule out possibilities including the possibility of declaration of state of emergency where it is established in essence, that there is a failure on the part of the state government to ensure the sanctity of security of lives, properties and democratic order.”

He emphasised that the position of the government as it pertains to the upcoming gubernatorial election in the state is to ensure that the elections are held peacefully.

In recent times, the Southeast region of Nigeria has come under violent attacks launched by armed gangs suspected to be members of the proscribed Indegenous People Of Biafra (IPOB) who continue to agitate for a separate state of Biafra.

In August, the group declared every Monday a sit-at-home day as a way of pressuring the Nigerian government to release Nnamdi Kanu, leader of IPOB who is currently in detention. Gruesome killings and violence soon ensued and continues to go on, as the group consistently seeks to enforce the order.

On Sept. 29, a yet to be identified armed gang gruesomely murdered Dr Chike Akunyili, husband of late former Director-General of National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Prof Dora Akunyili in Anambra State.

On Sept. 30, Center for Democracy and Development (CDD), Africa’s leading pro-democracy and research think-tank warned that IPOB’s activities may be a stumbling block to the upcoming elections in the state.

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Chigozie Victor

Chigozie Victor is a journalist and a creative writer. Her work focuses on SGBV, policy and security infrastructure. The graduate of English and Literature from Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka is passionate about helping audiences understand salient issues through clear reporting and multimedia journalism. She tweets at @nwaanyi_manaria

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