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Insecurity: We’re concerned about Anambra poll –INEC

The Independent National Electoral Commission has expressed worry over the November 6 Anambra State governorship election. INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, at the 2021 Annual Abubakar Momoh Memorial Lecture in Abuja yesterday, said this was in view of security challenges facing the country, especially the attacks on the commission’s facilities.

Prof. Yakubu, who was represented by National Commissioner, Malam Mohammed Kudu Haruna, noted that between 2019 general elections and now, there have been attacks on 42 INEC offices across the country. “We are, therefore, seriously concerned at the impact of this challenge when the physical appearance of registrants commences at the 2,673 registration centres soon.

“This challenge is more pronounced as the commission will deploy 5,345 staff to officiate in the 2,673 registration centres nationwide. Naturally, we are deeply concerned about their safety even more than we are about the security of our property and materials. “More importantly, we are equally concerned about the Anambra governorship election that is scheduled for 6 November, 2021 especially following the attack on the head office in the state,” he said.

The Chairman, however, stated that the commission, in collaboration with election stakeholders, is determined to tackle the challenge. He called for voter education and information, constant dialogue, community outreaches, deliberations and assessment. “The Nigerian public must own the desire for democracy and peaceful conduct of elections,” he added. Malam Haruna, who is Chairman of the board of The Electoral Institute (TEI), organisers of the lecture, in his own address, said despite the security challenges, the Anambra poll, as well as the 2023 general elections, have to hold to avoid a constitutional crisis. He added that everything has to be done to remove the security challenge or any other threat to INEC’s commitment to the delivery of its mandate.

“It has become the tradition of the commission, through The Electoral Institute, to engage stakeholders who will do justice to any topical issue germane to elections. “The institute creates avenues for this kind of interaction through policy dialogues, round-table series, focus group discussions, as well as through Professor Abubakar Momoh Memorial Lecture,” Prof Haruna said.

 

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