The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has expressed concern over the country’s security challenges ahead of the 2023 elections.
This was stated on Friday by Mahmood Yakubu, INEC chairman during a meeting with heads of security agencies, in Abuja.
Over the past months, the spate of violent attacks has increased in parts of the country, fuelling speculations that it may have an impact on the conduct of the 2023 elections.
The commission in April suspended the ongoing continuous voter registration (CVR) in some registration centres in Imo state after an INEC official was shot dead in Ihitte Uboma LGA of the state.
Reacting to the development, Yakubu said there is still time for security agencies to address the country’s challenges and improve security before the 2023 elections.
“The general security situation in the country and its impact on the electoral process is a source of concern to the commission,” he said.
“However, we are confident that with nine months to the 2023 general election, there is enough time to respond to the security challenges and secure the nation for elections to take place nationwide.
“The timetable for the election has also been released. Let us not wait until a few weeks to the election before we realise that time is not on our side and begin to seek for extension of timelines.
“The time to act is now. We wish to reassure the security agencies that we will continue to work cooperatively with you to ensure the success of all forthcoming elections and electoral activities.
“We have tasked our resident electoral commissioners (RECs) to provide basic data on areas of security challenges in their states, including citizens living in internally displaced persons (IDP) camps.
“Our idea is to harvest the data as a basis for further engagement with the security agencies, as well as devising the best way to provide electoral services to all Nigerians under all circumstances.”
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