INEC (The Independent National Electoral Commission) has revealed that the proposed 2023 general election could be stalled due to the instability in the security situation of the Country.
The information was released to the general public on Monday January 9th, 2023 by the Chairman Board of Electoral Institute (BEI), Prof. Abdullahi Abdu Zuru at the Validation of Election Security Training Resources in Abuja. Prof Zuru acted as the mouthpiece of the INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu.
He (Abdu Zuru ) talked about the importance of tight electoral security to the democratic c consolidation by enhancing a safe environment to conducting free, fair, credible elections that is plausible, flexibleand inclusive and thus strengthening the electoral process.
As a result of these, INEC hold the safety of the citizens and their precious votes as a top priority, thereby, the electoral body will not be giving room for the choices of people to be exploited or manipulated by ensuring solid and effective security to the electoral personnel, material, processes and even the masses.
“This is particularly significant to the commission given the current insecurity challenges in various parts the country and the fact that the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) members constitute the core of the Polling Unit Election officials.
Importantly, “if the full security of the country, process and the day is not 100 percent guaranteed, then the election would be cancelled and/or postponed to prevent the declaration of election result that will birth forth crises in the nation at large. This must not be allowed to happen and shall not be allowed to happen.
“Therefore, security personnel in particular and all election officials in general must be security conscious and alert to unusual activities in their environment and must be fully equipped to deal with any challenge at all times.”
According to him, to this end, the National Security Adviser (NSA), Gen. Mohammed Babagana Monguno (retd), and the Chairman, INEC have jointly assured the nation that conducive environment will be provided for successful conduct of the 2023 general election.
He also said that there is a new Electoral Legal Framework that will guide the 2023 election as a result of the enactment of the Electoral Act 2022 which prompted the review of the INEC Regulations and Guidelines for Conduct of Elections 2022.
Prof. Abdullahi Abdu Zuru also talked about the probable use of digital tools to ensure easy and accurate transmission of the elctoral results, as part of the measure from the body. This is perfectly backed up by the Electoral Act 2022 Sections 47(2), 60(1, 2 & 5), 62(1), 64(4a & 4b) and 64(5), which confers INEC with the power to use any technological device to transmit or transfer election results electronically are instructive in this regard.
Facts About Nigeria Insecurity
Insecurity is a significant issue in Nigeria, which is a country located in West Africa with a population of over 200 million people. Nigeria faces various security challenges that have a significant impact on the country’s social, economic, and political stability. Some of the key areas of insecurity in Nigeria include:
Terrorism: Nigeria has been grappling with terrorism for many years, particularly from the Boko Haram extremist group. Boko Haram, which translates to “Western education is forbidden,” seeks to establish an Islamic state in Nigeria and has carried out numerous attacks on civilian populations, schools, and government institutions, resulting in thousands of deaths, abductions, and displacements of people.
Herdsmen-Farmer Clashes: Nigeria also experiences clashes between farmers and herders, primarily in the central and northern regions of the country. Disputes over land resources, grazing rights, and water sources have escalated into deadly conflicts, resulting in loss of lives, destruction of properties, and displacement of communities.
Kidnapping: Kidnapping for ransom has become a prevalent form of criminal activity in Nigeria. Both individuals and groups engage in kidnapping for financial gain, targeting civilians, including schoolchildren, prominent individuals, and foreign nationals. Ransom payments are often demanded in exchange for the release of the victims.
Ethnic and Communal Violence: Nigeria is ethnically and religiously diverse, and conflicts often arise along ethnic and communal lines. These conflicts can be triggered by various factors, including land disputes, political differences, and competition for resources, leading to violence, loss of lives, and displacement of communities.
Banditry: Banditry, involving armed groups that engage in robbery, cattle rustling, and other forms of criminal activities, is also a significant security challenge in Nigeria. Bandits often operate in remote areas and have been responsible for attacks on communities, abductions for ransom, and violence against civilians.
Insurgency: Apart from Boko Haram, other insurgent groups such as the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) and other separatist movements in the Niger Delta region also pose security threats in Nigeria, carrying out attacks and bombings targeting security forces and civilians.
These security challenges in Nigeria have had severe consequences, including loss of lives, displacement of communities, disruption of economic activities, and a general sense of insecurity among the population. The Nigerian government has been implementing various measures to address these security issues, including deploying security forces, implementing policy reforms, and engaging in peace talks and negotiations. However, resolving these complex security challenges requires a multi-dimensional approach that addresses the underlying social, economic, and political factors driving insecurity in Nigeria.
If Not well addressed, It might affect the Election.