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INEC: 2023 Elections May Be Stalled Over Insecurity

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The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has issued a significant cancellation warning for this year’s general election if insecurity is not adequately addressed. INEC…

The warning was given during the Validation of Election Security Training Resources on Monday in Abuja by Prof. Abdullahi Abdu Zuru, Chairman of the Board of Electoral Institute (BEI), who is also the Chairman of INEC.

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“We all recognize that Election Security is essential to the strengthening of democracy by creating an environment that allows for the holding of free, fair, credible, and inclusive elections.

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“As a result, the commission is taking no chances when making preparations for the 2023 General Elections by guaranteeing that intense and thorough security are given for election officials, materials, and processes.

The National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) members who make up the majority of the polling unit election officials make this particularly important to the commission considering the current insecurity issues in various parts of the nation.

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“In addition, if the insecurity is not closely watched and dealt with, it could ultimately result in the cancellation and/or postponement of elections in enough constituencies to impede the announcement of election results and trigger a constitutional crisis. This must not, and will not, be permitted to occur.

Because of this, Yakubu stated, “security personnel in particular and all election officials in general must be security conscious, sensitive to strange activity in their area, and properly ready to cope with any issue at all times.”

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In order to achieve this, he claims that the Chairman of INEC and the National Security Adviser (NSA), Gen. Mohammed Babagana Monguno (retired), have jointly promised the public that favorable conditions will be created for the successful holding of the general election in 2023.

The passage of the Electoral Act 2022, which spurred the review of the INEC Regulations and Guidelines for Conduct of Elections 2022, resulted in the creation of a new Electoral Legal Framework that will guide the 2023, he added.

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Sections 47(2), 60(1, 2 & 5), 62(1), 64(4a & 4b), and 64(5) of the Electoral Act of 2022, which give INEC the authority to employ any technological equipment to communicate or transfer election results electronically, are particularly illuminating in this regard, the speaker continued.

“Emboldened by these legal protections, the Commission introduced new innovative technologies and procedures and made commitments to the Nigeria People that (a) Continuous Verification, Accreditation and Voting will be conducted at the Polling Units using the Bimodal Verification and Accreditation System (BVAS) and (b) Real-Time Polling Unit-level results will be uploaded on to the INEC Results Viewing (IReV) Portal using the same BVAS.

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“These commitments require innovative security strategies and deployments for protection of voters, election personnel, materials, equipment, the electoral processes as well as the general public and infrastructure.

The accuracy, transparency, and integrity of the results collation process are improved, minimizing human mistake and delay, and ensuring the procedure’s legitimacy. They were put to the test during the June 18 and July 16 governorship elections in Ekiti and Osun, respectively.

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The deployment of the BVAS and IReV during the 2023 General Elections has been pledged to the nation on numerous occasions by the Hon. Chairman INEC.

According to reports on the behavior of security personnel during the commission’s elections, in particular the stand-alone governorship elections in the states of Ekiti and Osun, there has been a progressive and commendable improvement in their attitude toward electoral training and professionalism during election duties.

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Seray Jah, the country director for the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES), stated in his message of goodwill that the key to conducting peaceful elections is to train the security people who would be used during the election.

“Managing security concerns throughout the election campaign is a challenging task for INEC, who, along with Nigerian security agencies, is responsible for avoiding, minimizing, and resolving electoral violence.

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Also Read: 2023: Bola Tinubu Meets APC Governors In Abuja

“In order to accomplish this effectively, election-related security officers would need to get proper training on their duties. The opportunity to validate the high-quality training materials created for the security personnel as they get ready to deploy for the general elections in 2023 is presented by the validation workshop with important stakeholders in elections security, Jay stated.

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