Nigeria’s electoral body, the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC has again raised concerns that the general election faces serious threats of cancellation and postponement if security challenges across parts of the country fails to improve.
The INEC Chairman, Mahmood Yakubu, who expressed the concerns, also warned that the cancellation or postponement of elections due to insecurity in some areas would not only hinder the declaration of elections results, but also precipitate constitutional crisis.
Yakubu stated this at the validation of election security training resources in Abuja on Monday.
He however, assured Nigerians that the commission was not leaving anything behind, in ensuring that security was provided for election personnel, materials and processes.
“We all appreciate the fact that election security is vital to democratic consolidation through provision of enabling environment for the conduct of free, fair, credible and inclusive elections and thus strengthening the electoral process.
Consequently, in preparations for the 2023 general election, the commission is not leaving anything to chance in ensuring that intensive and extensive security are provided for election personnel, materials and processes,” the INEC chairman said.
“This is particularly significant to the commission given the current insecurity challenges in various parts the country and the fact that the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) members constitute the core of the polling unit election officials.
“Moreover, if the insecurity is not monitored and dealt with decisively, it could ultimately culminate in the cancellation or postponement of elections in sufficient constituencies to hinder declaration of elections results and precipitate constitutional crisis. This must not be allowed to happen and shall not be allowed to happen. Therefore, security personnel in particular and all time,” he explained.
The INEC Chairman assured that by working with the National Security Adviser, General Mohammed Babagana Monguno, he was optimistic that a conducive environment would be provided for successful conduct of the 2023 general elections.
Yakubu was represented by the Chairman, Board of Electoral Institute, BEI, Abdullahi Abdu Zuru.
In a goodwill message, International Foundation for Electoral Systems, IFES, said the training of security personnel to be deployed for the poll remained the antidote for peaceful elections.
“Managing security threats in the electioneering process is a tall order for INEC, which has the responsibility, together with Nigerian security agencies of preventing, mitigating, and resolving electoral violence,” The Country Director of IFES, Seray Jah said.