With the off-cycle Anambra elections scheduled to hold in a few days, the feasibility of the election has been the subject of widespread commentary. This uncertainty that has trailed discussions of the elections have been a result of the deteriorating security situation in the state. Two security situations with strong implications on the election include the emergence of multiple non-state armed groups referred to as “unknown gunmen” as well as the reportedly brutally enforced sit-at-home orders issued by the separatist group Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB). , threatens the elections in a manner before unseen in the region.
Already, political parties have disclosed that their campaign activities have been virtually nonexistent as a result of the fear of violent attacks from IPOB. More recently, IPOB has declared a sit-at-home order between 5-10 November unless their leader, Nnamdi Kanu is released and all charges against him dropped. This sit-at-home order clearly targets the election and is leveraging on that to negotiate for IPOB’s leader.
Given that in recent months, IPOB’s sit-at-home protests have been so successful that even when the group lifts the ban, residents still sit-at-home either out of solidarity or to err on the side of caution, this new sit-at-home order will have serious implications on voter turn-out in the elections as well as the overall security of the election.
Reflecting on this multifaceted set of concerns, the following briefing offers a forward-looking analysis of how these factors will likely shape the conduct and outcome of the Anambra 2021 governorship election.