Why 2023 Should Be Tempered

Why 2023 Should Be Tempered
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With heightened insecurity across the nation, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) offices and facilities have become targets of attacks by hoodlums and bandits with motives still vague but clearly primitive, a situation that is already raising concerns among stakeholders that the 2023 elections may be jeopardized.

These seemingly organized attacks and destruction of INEC offices and facilities have been on the increase in recent times, especially in the south –eastern part of the country and this has generated a lot of concerns as to why the electoral body has suddenly become a subject of attacks.

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As the spate of these attacks became prevalent, the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Mahmood Yakubu, aroused public consciousness on the imminent dangers and inherent consequences of the attacks on the general elections coming in the first quarter of the year 2023. In various media he stressed that the series of attacks on the commission’s facilities may undermine its capacity to organise elections and negatively impact the country’s electoral processes.

The INEC chairman expressed concerns over a series of accidental and coordinated fire outbreaks on INEC’s facilities across the country, dating back to 2019, even before the general elections of that year.

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Evidently, a number of INEC offices around the country have been destroyed, with critical infrastructures affected, thereby stretching the commission’s capacity to manage elections.

These increasing attacks, will undoubtedly, put the commission on the edge, especially if critical tools like the electoral register and card readers are affected.

The media and civil societies have been unequivocal on their stance against the torching of INEC facilities in parts of the country as the situation they hold would impact negatively on its capacity to deliver on its mandate. The Director of Programmes, Yiaga Africa, Cynthia Mbamalu, for instance has said the recent spate of attacks on INEC offices are getting out of hand and have grave impacts on the commission’s preparations for the next elections with the potential to affect the implementation of its activities towards the off-cycle governorship elections and the 2023 elections.

According to her, this also comes with a huge cost implication on INEC’s budget, especially with some of its offices/structures and election materials burnt/destroyed.

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AljazirahNigeria sees this worrisome trend as preposterous and a situation that is likely to have grave consequences in terms of cost implications for a nation already prostrate and riding on half its projections, given the paucity of funds occasioned by dwindling internal and external income.

We urge agitators to be circumspect in their approach to seeking redress which suggests that there is a tendency towards anarchy as against reason and propitiation. Arms struggle should be seen as the last resort which should be engaged when all moral, legal and legalistic approaches have been exhausted.

While we acquiesce to the position that there could be some inadequacies and flaws in the constitutional provisions of the polity and indeed governance, AljaziarahNigeria takes exception to recourse to violence as this would aggravate rather than resolve a worsening situation.

With 2023 around the corner, it is expected that all parties who by virtue of the subsisting constitution which is yet to be abrogated or amended as the situation may turn out, should yet work within the fragmented clauses to ensure a hitch-free general elections until a new dawn enters.

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We also urge the authorities to be wary of moles and self-serving individuals who would stop at nothing to infiltrate the ranks of counter-insurgency fighters and thus compromise the huge efforts being deployed. This is possible by engaging more in intelligence gathering rather than a wholesale military affront. 

There is a need for better security provision for all INEC offices and structures as a matter of national emergency.

 “The spate of attacks is beyond mere coincidence and requires in-depth investigation to ensure the culprits and their sponsors are apprehended and prosecuted.

We urge the Federal Government to beef up security at INEC offices nationwide to ensure 24-hour surveillance in order to arrest those behind the attacks and prevent further incidents.

“With CCTV cameras in all INEC offices, identities of those behind this crime will be unmasked; they will be arrested and prosecuted,” one analyst.

Aljazirahnews


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