INEC Chairman says insecurity may hamper elections in North-West, South-East
Yakubu says INEC has printed over 50 per cent of the Permanent Voters’ Cards which he said would be available by November.
The Northeastern part of the country has been the hotbed of banditry in recent times while killings allegedly perpetrated by Eastern Security Network in the south east have been a major security concern.
According to INEC, 41 attacks against its offices have been recorded following the 2019 general election in 14 states. 13 of the attacks were reportedly carried out in the south east.
In his keynote address to journalists on Wednesday, October 12, 2022, Yakubu said affirmed that there were concerns about the forthcoming general elections in 2023.
He said, “Are there concerns about the 2023 general election? I’ll be the last to say there are no concerns. The first concern is the perennial issue of insecurity in different parts of the country, compounded by the traditional issues of thuggery during elections organized by some of the political actors.
“I say it is a perennial issue because, at the end of the day, it is nothing new. However, the dimension of the insecurity is concerning in the sense that in the past, it was localized or confined to a particular part of the country, the northeast. But now, it is more widespread and we are keeping our eyes, particularly on the northwest and the southeastern parts of the country.’’
He further said, “Elections are conducted by human beings. We worry about the security of our officials, voters and the materials to be deployed. Without them, we cannot conduct elections. We have spoken to the security agencies and they have assured us that the situation will improve before the elections.
“So, fingers crossed. Those who are supposed to secure the environment have assured us that they will secure the environment for us to conduct elections. Our responsibility is to conduct elections.”
On the importance of the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System, the INEC chair said the machine has eliminated the flaws in previous elections, adding that the machine has been dispatched to over 23 states already.
“The BVAS has eliminated multiple accreditations that were observed in previous elections. Now, you are sure that the person who is accredited is the voter and the bearer of the card.
“It has increased public confidence in the outcome of elections as shown in the recent off-cycle elections. People tend to be more confident now with the protection of the process of accreditation using technology,’’ he said.
Yakubu also disclosed that INEC has printed over 50 per cent of the Permanent Voters’ Cards which he said would be available by November.
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