INSECURITY: FG Kicks Over Elections Cancellation Fear

INSECURITY: <strong>FG Kicks Over Elections Cancellation Fear</strong>
  • .Says polls will hold as planned

By Caleb Ishaya, Abuja  

Contrary to naysayers’ views that the 2023 general elections would not hold, the Federal Government has assured Nigerians of conducting the polls as fixed by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC. 

 INEC had on Monday  warned that the 2023 general elections, which is barely six weeks away, face serious threat of cancellations if the waves of insecurity in the country persists, saying that the commission will not allow it to happen.

 INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, who was represented by the chairman, Board of Electoral Institute, BEI, Prof. Abdullahi Zuru, disclosed this in Abuja at the Validation of Election Security Training Resources.

But reacting to the statement, the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, made the clarifications in his preliminary remarks at the 17th Edition of the PMB Administration Scorecard in Abuja yesterday, saying that nothing has happened to alter the election timetable.

According to him, security agencies have assured the nation of a peaceful atmosphere for the polls.

Mohammed faulted a National Commissioner of the INEC for raising a red flag on the polls.

He said: “Let me use this opportunity to respond to inquiries from the media over a widely-circulated report, credited to an INEC official, that the 2023 general elections face a serious threat of cancellation due to insecurity.

“The position of the Federal Government remains that the 2023 elections will be held as planned. Nothing has happened to change that position.

 “We are aware that INEC is working with the security agencies to ensure that the elections are successfully held across the country.

 “The security agencies have also continued to assure Nigerians that they are working tirelessly to ensure that the elections are held in a peaceful atmosphere. Therefore, there is no cause for alarm”.

The lingering attacks on INEC offices and facilities have been a major issue raising doubts in the country if the polls will be conducted. 

 The damages being caused on the offices of the electoral body no doubt will impact negatively on its preparations for elections and that seems to be the objective of those behind the attacks.

 INEC had in different occasions decried waves of attacks on its offices and facilities since releasing data detailing 50 attacks across 15 states, namely: Imo  (11), Osun (7), Enugu (5), Akwa Ibom (5), Ebonyi (4), Cross River (4), and Abia (4), Anambra (2), Taraba (2), Kaduna (1), Borno (1), Bayelsa (1), Ondo (1), Lagos (1), and Ogun (1).

 …PDP, APC Trade Blames Over Attacks On INEC Facilities 

At the end of last year, the All Progressives Congress, APC, lambasted the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, for alleging that the ruling party was plotting to scuttle the 2023 general elections. 

PDP alleged that the APC  was plotting to scuttle the poll by sponsoring attacks on INEC’s facilities, allegedly, to prevent new registrants from collecting their Permanent Voter Cards, PVCs; destroy PVCs to forestall collection by potential voters; destroy INEC’s equipment and cripple it’s capacity to conduct elections; and create tension across the country to “validate a narrative that elections cannot hold, then orchestrate a constitutional crisis with a view to justifying a shift of the elections and perpetuate certain APC elements in office beyond May 29, 2023”. 

 APC on the other side said the opposition PDP, has continued to outdo its own record of disgraceful display of despicable desperation and despondency in the conduct of its public affairs.

 However, Nigerians all over are afraid over the spate of insecurity in the country and also have wondered if the general elections would hold. Dr Shehu Mhadi on AIT Focus Nigeria, monitored by our correspondent said many parts of the North including Katsina State, the President’s home state is infested with bandits and ISIS that have taken over some communities. Mhadi mentioned states like Katsina, Zamfara, Sokoto as red flags areas in the North West.

In the Southern part of the country especially the South East the activities of the unknown gunmen have brought the zone to its knees. Also in the North Central zone the attacks were targeted at the poor citizens depriving them from farming. But the recent attack at Igueben train station in Edo State by bandits has sent another wrong signal to the authorities and the masses on the security of the citizens a few weeks to the general elections.

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2023 ElectionsINECInsecurityISIS