Chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission INEC, Mahmood Yakubu has said the general security situation in the country and its impact on the electoral process is a source of concern to the Commission.
He is however confident that the remaining nine months to the 2023 General Election is enough time to respond to the security challenges and secure the nation for elections to take place nationwide.
Yakubu who spoke at the second regular quarterly meeting with members of the Inter-agency Consultative Committee on Election Security ICCES, in Abuja, noted that the time to act is now.
He said the commission has tasked its 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.
The decision Yakubu noted was informed by the need 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”.
He assured the security agencies that the commission would continue to work hand in hand with them to ensure the success of all forthcoming elections and electoral activities.
On his part, the Co-Chairman of ICCES and National Security Adviser (NSA), Major General Babagana Monguno (Rtd), noted with concern, the growing uncertainty heralding the conduct of party primaries for 2023 elections
Represented by Mr. Sanusi Galadima, the NSA added that the disturbing development “has already culminated in intense power play capable of heightening unnecessary political tension across the country”.
General Monguno disclosed that “heads of security and law enforcement agencies have been tasked to step up close monitoring and profiling of political actors no matter how highly placed who exhibit tendencies to subvert the electoral process”.
He was of view that INEC should continue to impress on political parties to consistently abide by prescribed rules as outlined in their respective manifestos.
This the ICCES Co- Chairman said is to significantly reduce areas of conflict and ensure a peaceful atmosphere for a hitch-free off-cycle and general elections.