The Independent National Electoral Commission INEC has put Nigerians particularly the voting class that the upsurge in security in Nigeria could derail the conduct of 2023 general elections in February.
Prof. Abdullahi Abdu Zuru, chairman, Board of The Electoral Institute TEI, INEC’s training arm, warning that except urgent steps are taken to stem the tide, the electoral violence, may force the Commission to shift the conduct of the elections, amidst concerns over constitutional crisis.
Prof. Abdullahi who disclosed this at the validation of election security training resources on Monday in Abuja, explained 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”.
According to him, “in preparations for the 2023 General elections, the Commission is not leaving anything to chance in ensuring that intensive and extensive security are provided for election personnel, materials and processes.
“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 and/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 election officials in general must be security conscious and alert to unusual activities in their environment and must be fully equipped to deal with any challenge at all times.
“To this end, the National Security Adviser, Gen. Mohammed Babagana Monguno and the Chairman, INEC have jointly assured the nation that conducive environment will be provided for successful conduct of the 2023 general Election”, he said.
The INEC official said police authorities have also put modalities in place towards a hitch-free polls nationwide.
Recall that President Muhammadu Buhari had said that INEC has no reason not to deliver conduct a free, fair and credible elections having approved the requested budget for the electoral body.
He also put a deadline to end insecurity in Nigeria and ruled out extension of his tenure in office beyond May 29, 2023.