The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has expressed concern that the conduct of the general elections could be affected if attacks on its facilities continue into January 2023.
Goldennewsng reports that the Public Chief and Director, Data and Citizen Training Panel, INEC, Mr Festus Okoye, expressed this at a studio on Political Brutality and Political decision Security coordinated by the Public Safeguard School on Monday in Abuja.
Okoye stated that the commission had recorded some reverses in the states where the attacks occurred, including the destruction of permanent voter cards and other election materials.
He stated that the commission had documented 50 attacks in 15 federation states since 2019.
He claims that the 2022 attacks were planned and coordinated to prevent the NEC from holding elections that are free, fair, credible, and transparent.
He specifically mentioned how many losses the commission suffered in the attack on its office in the Abeokuta South Local Government in Ogun.
However, Okoye stated, “So all these attacks that have taken place, we have the capacity to recover and we are going to recover because we are already reprinting the permanent voters cards that were lost during the inferno.” Okoye gave assurance that INEC is able to recover from these attacks.
“We are also trying to rent offices for the ones that we are unable to repair, as well as replacing the lost voting cubicles and ballot boxes.
“Be that as it may, in the event that these assaults go into January and February, it very well might be challenging as far as we’re concerned to recuperate from those assaults.
This is because, according to the amended section 134 of the Federal Republic of Nigeria’s 1999 Constitution, a candidate must meet a certain threshold before being declared the winner of any election.
Therefore, we do not wish for these attacks to continue; we do not wish for them to continue.
However, he continued, “But we have the assurance from the various security agencies that they are going to dominate the environment and neutralize these attacks.”
In addition, Okoye stated that the security agencies had promised to provide a safe and secure environment for the 2023 general elections.
He reassured Nigerians that INEC would hold a technology-driven election that would result in the Nigerian people’s preferred winner.
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