The Inter-Agency Consultative Committee on election security has met with officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in preparation for the governorship and State House of Assembly elections.
The meeting took place at INEC headquarters in Abuja on Tuesday, according to a statement posted on the Commission’s official Twitter handle.
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According to the statement, INEC Chairman, Mahmood Yakubu, urged political parties and their supporters not to involve themselves in violent activities during the governorship and state assembly elections scheduled to hold on Saturday, 18th March 2023.
“The Inter-Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security meeting gets underway at the INEC HQ, Abuja. The Governorship/State Houses of Assembly elections, scheduled for 18th March, are on the agenda.
“INEC Chairman, Prof Mahmood Yakubu implores political parties, candidates and their supporters to see the election as a contest, not war and ‘refrain from acts of violence that may mar the elections or compromise the security of our personnel, observers, the media and service providers”, the statement read.
The chairman noted that unlike the 25th February presidential and National Assembly elections, the upcoming one would involve more constituencies hence the need for more robust security.
He said the governorship election would hold in 28 states, with the exception of Anambra, Bayelsa, Edo, Ekiti, Imo, Kogi, Ondo and Osun where the election was conducted off-cycle.
He added that the state Houses of Assembly election would hold in all the 993 state constituencies across the country.
“Unlike the last elections involving 470 constituencies (one Presidential, 109 Senatorial Districts and 360 House of Representatives seats), the state elections will involve 1,021 constituencies (28 Governorship and 993 State Assembly seats).
“There will also be more candidates involved and more collation centres to protect. They are also local elections involving keen contests.
“It is therefore important for parties and candidates to speak to their agents and supporters to see the elections as a contest and not war.
“They should refrain from acts of violence that may mar the elections or compromise the security of our personnel, observers, the media and service providers,’’ Yakubu said.
The INEC Chairman commended the security agencies for their professional conduct during the Feb. 25 presidential and National Assembly election, saying that INEC looks forward to an improved performance in Saturday’s election.
“The commission is encouraged by the directive to state Commands by the Inspector General of Police to handle all cases of electoral offences expeditiously.
“We look forward to receiving the case files. We will immediately set up a legal team to handle such cases in earnest,’’ Yakubu said.