General Elections: Revisiting INEC Fear

General Elections: Revisiting INEC Fear

In unflattering remarks, the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu has expressed fear over the conduct of next month’s elections in some parts of the country over insecurity.

Yakubu, who spoke at the validation of election security training resources held in Abuja recently, said the elections might be postponed or out rightly cancelled if insecurity persists.

Represented by the Chairman, Board of the Electoral Institute, Abdullahi Zuru the INEC chairman, however, assured Nigerians that the exercise would proceed as planned by providing extensive security for election personnel, electorates, and materials.

He said: “If insecurity is not monitored and dealt with, it could ultimately culminate in the cancellation and or postponement of elections in sufficient constituencies to hinder declaration of election results and precipitate a constitutional crisis.

“We all appreciate the fact that election security is vital to democratic consolidation through the provision of an enabling environment for the conduct of free, fair, credible, and inclusive elections and thus strengthening the electoral process”.

It is not the first time such concerns are raised over the spate of insecurity across the country as likely albatross to the scheduled 2023 elections. From the North to South and from the West to the East, the refrain is the same. There are various scales and magnitudes of insecurity in the nation. Much as they differ in types, they keep assuming more fearsome proportions daily.

We have cautioned on the need for stakeholders to allow themselves to work in the interest of the nation by sinking political differences to fight the common foe insecurity. It will be a national disservice should they fail to present a common front against insecurity which has its roots from all forms of agitations which bear parochial semblance.

The national interest must be seen to override all selfish intents which can only enhance distortion of our nation.

It is indeed disconcerting for all concerned Nigerians that it is the electoral body itself that is raising the fear of the forthcoming elections. What the implication or inclination arising is the heightened worry that the elections may be jeopardised should this spate of insecurity continue unabated.

More worrisome is the sectional, unpatriotic agitations from groups who claim they are working for self-determination of their respective ‘nations’. While agitations are normal if conducted within acceptable bounds of civility and as permitted by the relevant local laws and international conventions, it becomes an insurgency should it turn rowdy and bloody. There must be a pattern to make such moves legitimate.

For most Nigerians what is crucial now is the 2023 elections and any attempt to scuttle the process should no doubt be resisted with all vehemence by the authorities.

Individual and ethnic crusaders must eschew blood-letting and sundry dishonourable attributes that can destabilise the country and set us years behind. Our hard-earned democracy should not be sacrificed on the altar of selfish interest of a few. We must warn that any uncoordinated agitations would lead to untoward consequences that may not have any relevance even for the fomenters on the long run.

We must all work for the 2023 elections to come true and the security agencies must be seen to be up and doing to ensure a congenial environment for that purpose. 


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Abdullahi ZuruINECProf. Mahmood Yakubu

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