Professor Zuru Laments Over Insecurity, Says General Election Might be Affect

The 2023 general election may be postponed according to the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, due to the rise in election-related insecurity across the country.

The Chairman, Board of The Electoral Institute TEI, INEC’s training arm, Professor Abdullahi Abdu Zuru, stated this in Abuja at the validation of election security training resources, Monday.

He noted that the development could hinder the declaration of election results and precipitate a constitutional crisis, stressing that if the mayhem is not put to check, the polls will be affected.

Professor Zuru said: “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 elections, the Commission is not leaving anything to chance in ensuring that intensive and extensive security is provided for election personnel, materials and processes.

“This is particularly significant to the Commission given the current insecurity challenges in various parts of 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 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 elected 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, General Mohammed Babagana Monguno, and the Chairman, INEC have jointly assured the nation that a conducive environment will be provided for the successful conduct of the 2023 general election.

“Similarly, the Inspector-General of Police, IGP, Usman Baba Alkali, has conducted election security management workshops across the six geo-political zones.

“On its part, the Commission, through The Electoral Institute, has institutionalized the development and implementation of a cascaded training mechanism for security personnel as a critical component of its training plan.”

He added that emboldened by the protection offered by the amended Electoral Act, the Commission launched innovative technologies and procedures and made commitments to  Nigerians that continuous verification, accreditation and voting will be conducted at the polling units using the Bimodal Verification and Accreditation System (BVAS) and real-time polling unit-level results will be uploaded on to the INEC Results Viewing (IReV) Portal using the same BVAS.

It will be recalled that INEC had decried waves of attacks on its offices and facilities in Imo, Osun, Enugu, Akwa Ibom, Ebonyi, Cross River, and Abia, Anambra, Taraba, Kaduna, Borno, Bayelsa, Ondo, Lagos, and Ogun.

The commission’s chairman had also said if attacks on its offices persist, the poll might be greatly affected and urged security agencies to continue to provide safety around the facilities.

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