The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) expressed worries about the upcoming general election on Monday owing to the increasing security risks, warning that the polls could be canceled if the level of insecurity in the country continues to rise.
This occurred right as the Inter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC) accused some state governors of deploying touts to intimidate their rivals and destroy opposition party campaign literature during a Monday media conference.
The commission also cautioned that the cancellation and/or postponing of elections in enough seats as a result of the local security situation could impede the announcement of election results and could spark a constitutional crisis.
At the validation of election security training resources conducted yesterday in Abuja, Yakubu, who was represented by the Chairman of the Board of Electoral Institute (BEI), Abdullahi Abdu Zuru, delivered the warning.
Yakubu emphasized, however, that the commission was making every effort to guarantee that sufficient security was offered for poll workers, materials, and processes.
“We all recognize that election security is essential to democratic consolidation through the creation of an enabling environment for the conduct of free, fair, credible, and inclusive elections and so strengthening the electoral process,” said INEC Chairman.
As a result, the commission is taking no chances when making preparations for the general elections of 2023 by making sure that intense and thorough security is given for poll workers, materials, and procedures.
“Given the current insecurity issues in many regions of the nation and the fact that National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) members make up the majority of the polling unit election officials, this is particularly crucial to the commission.
Additionally, if the insecurity is not closely watched and dealt with, it may eventually result in the cancellation and/or postponement of elections in enough constituencies to obstruct the announcement of election results and trigger a constitutional crisis. The occurrence of this cannot and will not be tolerated.
He emphasized the need for security-cognizant employees who are always aware of their surroundings and sensitive to strange activity, as well as the need for election officials to always be completely prepared to handle any situation.