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2023 Elections Might Be Cancelled – INEC

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), on Monday hinted that the increasing rate of insecurity in the country is likely to negatively impact the conduct of the 2023 General Elections.

According to the INEC Chairman Mahmood Yakubu, the large scale of insecurity in the country will not only hinder the declaration of electoral results but is likely to cause a widespread constitutional crisis within the areas that are affected by insecurity.

Chairman of the Board of Electoral Institute (BEI), Abdullahi Abdu Zuru, who represented the INEC chairman, made this known on Monday, in the FCT.

He said: “We all appreciate the fact that Election Security is vital to democratic consolidation through the provision of enabling environment for the conduct of free, fair, credible and inclusive elections and thus strengthening the electoral process.

“Moreover, if the insecurity is not monitored and dealt with decisively, it could ultimately culminate in the cancellation and/or postponement of elections in sufficient constituencies to hinder the declaration of elections results and precipitate a constitutional crisis. This must not be allowed to happen and shall not be allowed to happen.”

In addition, he acknowledged that security is very vital in order to conduct a free and credible election and for this reason, the commission is working hand in hand with relevant security agencies within the country to restore and maintain peace in troubled areas.

In a bid to rule out fear of insecurity in the minds of citizens during the 2023 election, the National Security Adviser, Gen. Mohammed Babagana Monguno, and the Chairman of INEC, have jointly assured the masses that adequate security will be provided in order to ensure the smooth conduct of the election, without loss of lives and properties.

Speaking further ahead of the elections, the commission said, “In particular, Sections 47(2), 60(1, 2 & 5), 62(1), 64(4a & 4b) and 64(5) of the Electoral Act 2022, which confers INEC with the power to use any technological device to transmit or transfer election results electronically are instructive in this regard.

“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”.

The commission explained that the electronic systems that are being introduced will go a long way to “minimize human errors and delays in results collation and improve the accuracy, transparency, and credibility of the results collation process thereby ensuring the credibility of the process”.

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