The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has raised the alarm over the adverse effects of rising insecurity on the 2023 general elections.
The INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, represented by the Chairman Board of Electoral Institute (BEI), Prof. Abdullahi Abdu Zuru, gave the warning on Monday in Abuja at the Validation of Election Security Training Resources.
He called on security personnel and election officials to be security conscious and alert to unusual activities in their environment.
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The chairman reiterated that there is a new Electoral Legal Framework that will guide the 2023 as a result of the enactment of the Electoral Act 2022 which prompted the review of the INEC Regulations and Guidelines for Conduct of Elections 2022.
“We all appreciate the fact 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.
“Consequently, 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,” Yakubu said.