Concerns arise due to insecurity challenges.
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 fail 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 hinder not only the declaration of elections results but also precipitate a constitutional crisis.
Yakubu stated this at the validation of election security training resources in Abuja on Monday. However, he assured Nigerians that the commission was not leaving anything behind, ensuring security was provided for election personnel, materials, and processes.
“We all appreciate the fact that election security is vital to democratic consolidation through the 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 is provided for election personnel, materials, and processes,” the INEC chairman said.
“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 the declaration of elections results and precipitate a 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 the successful conduct of the 2023 general elections.
Yakubu was represented by the Chairman of the 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.