The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has turned down requests from Non-Governmental Organisations (NGO) and others requesting that the 2023 general election be postponed due to security challenges, promising to go ahead with the 2023 election in spite.
INEC said that it turned down the request due to the confidence in the security agencies that they have the capacity to deal with challenges ahead of next year’s election.
The electoral umpire disclosed that the time before election would allow all stakeholders including security agencies to deal with current challenges as well as allow deployment of electoral materials nationwide.
According to INEC, we will continue to work with the security agencies for peaceful and effective conduct of the elections.
To this end, the Commission hinted that it would be holding high-level meetings with the security agencies and consultations with stakeholders immediately after the forthcoming national holidays.
Speaking during a quarterly meeting in Abuja, on Friday, the Chairman, INEC, Mahmood Yakubu, disclosed that a total of 2,673 Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) centres were activated nationwide aimed at enabling more Nigerians to register as voters.
Yakubu said that after series of consultations with stakeholders before the resumption of the exercise in June last year, they agreed on a roll-out and roll-back approach to the CVR exercise depending on the security situation in specific areas.
However, the INEC chairman noted that following the unfortunate attacks in Imo and Anambra, the Commission has suspended the CVR exercise in all the 54 and 42 additional centres in the State respectively as well as four centres in Kaduna.
“Consequently, following the unfortunate incident in Imo State last week, the Commission suspended the CVR exercise in all the 54 additional centres in the State. The exercise is now restricted to our State and Local Government offices except Ihitte Uboma, Njaba and Osu where the exercise has been suspended for the time being.” he said.
He reinstated that despite the security challenges, the body remains resolute in its determination to conduct the 2023 General Election as scheduled so as to give every eligible Nigerian the opportunity to vote, including Internally Displaced persons.
According to him, the Commission is confident that Nigeria security agencies have the capacity to deal with the security challenges ahead 2023 General Election and that they would continue to work in cooperation with them for a peaceful electioneering and conduct of elections.
Yakubu further urged personnel to thoroughly study the new electoral Act, together with the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 and Regulations and Guidelines for the Conduct of Elections to ensure free and fair elections for all.