The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has expressed worry over the increasing wave of election-related insecurity across the country.
The commission lamented that the trend, if not checked, could lead to the cancellation or postponement of the forthcoming general polls.
The Chairman of the Board of The Electoral Institute (TEI), INEC’s training arm, Professor Abdullahi Abdu Zuru, made this known on Monday in Abuja at the validation of election security training resources.
Zuru noted that the development could hinder the declaration of election results and precipitate a constitutional crisis, the electoral umpire called for concerted efforts to stem the tide of violence.
Last month, INEC decried waves of attacks on its offices and facilities since releasing data detailing 50 attacks across 15 states, namely: Imo (11), Osun (7), Enugu (5), Akwa Ibom (5), Ebonyi (4), Cross River (4), and Abia (4), Anambra (2), Taraba (2), Kaduna (1), Borno (1), Bayelsa (1), Ondo (1), Lagos (1), and Ogun (1)
“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”, Zuru said.