Further attacks on our facilities may affect 2023 elections — INEC raises the alarm

Posted by News Express | 20 December 2022 | 336 times

Gmail icon

•Recently attacked INEC facility



The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has expressed worries that if attacks on its facilities persist into January 2023, it can affect the conduct of the elections.

National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, INEC, Mr Festus Okoye, said this at a workshop on Political Violence and Election Security, organised by the National Defence College on Monday.

Okoye said the commission had recorded some reverses in some of the states of the federation in relation to attacks in some of its facilities while preparing well for the 2023 general elections.

He said the attacks had led to the destruction of ballot boxes and other election materials as well as permanent voter cards.

Okoye, however, said that INEC had the capacity to recover from those attacks, saying the commission had since 2019, recorded 50 attacks.

He added that the attacks recorded in 2022 were the ones that were considered systematic and coordinated, being targeted at derailing the preparations of INEC from conducting free, fair, credible and transparent election.

According to him, in the Abeokuta South Local Government Office in Ogun State, INEC recorded so much losses.

“So all these attacks that have taken place, we have the capacity to recover and we are going to recover because we are already reprinting the permanent voters cards that were lost during the inferno.

“We are also replacing the voting cubicles and ballot boxes that were also lost. We are also trying to rent offices for the ones that we cannot repair.

“But if these attacks go into January and February, it may be difficult for us to recover from those attacks.

“This is because if you look at section 134 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 as amended, it has threshold that a candidate must meet before that candidate can be declared as the winner of any election.

“So we do not want these attacks to continue. We don’t want them to persist but we have the assurance from the various security agencies that they are going to dominate the environment, neutralise these attacks, then we are good.

Okoye said that the security agencies had given the assurance to ensure a secure and safe environment for the conduct of the 2023 general elections.

He assured Nigerians that INEC would conduct an election driven by technology that would produce a winner that the Nigerian people want.

“We are going to declare only those who the Nigerian people elect as the winners of the election.

“So we do not want any distraction at this point in time and that is why we have made it very clear to the National Assembly that all INEC offices shall and must be declared as high priority areas that need adequate protection and safety.

“The Nigerian people deserve to go into the election with a clear conscience, with a clear mind. We don’t want people to go into the election with fear and anxiety because that will not make for a credible election.

“But in terms of our own preparations, in terms of delivering on our mandate of organising, undertaking and supervising election, we are on top of the situation and we are not going to disappoint the Nigerian people,” he said.

Another National Commissioner, INEC, Prof. Sani Adam, commended NDC for organizing the workshop that would address election violence and election security in 2023.

Adam said the introduction of technology by INEC would discourage ballot snatching in future elections, adding that voters would come out and vote decently and live decently.

He said the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) would ensure that results would be announced in a proper and acceptable manner.

“NDC is pioneering this kind of conference on election security and political violence that shows that INEC is heavily protected and country is well stabilised.

“The armed forces are synergised to ensure that free and fair elections take place in 2023,” he said.

The Commandant of NDC, Rear Adm. Murtala Bashir, said the workshop was one of the series of activities of the college to build the capacity of the armed forces to know the roles they were supposed to play.

Bashir said that ensuring the free and credible election was one particular thing that NDC considered as vital for the synergy of efforts between the armed forces and the other security agencies.

“And this is one of the platforms that bring together these agencies so that we can see how all of us can be on the same page with each agency knowing exactly its role.

“This is to ensure that we will be able to harness and pull our resources to ensure that we have a very good outing during the 2023 elections,” he said. (NAN)


Source: News Express

Readers Comments

0 comment(s)

No comments yet. Be the first to post comment.

You may also like...