The Independent National Electoral Commission(INEC) on Tuesday confirmed its readiness for 28 governorship and 993 State constituencies elections nationwide slated for Saturday, March 18. Already, INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu said the Commission’s State offices have made available to the Nigeria Police Force, being the lead agency in election security, the delimitation details for both
The Independent National Electoral Commission(INEC) on Tuesday confirmed its readiness for 28 governorship and 993 State constituencies elections nationwide slated for Saturday, March 18.
Already, INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu said the Commission’s State offices have made available to the Nigeria Police Force, being the lead agency in election security, the delimitation details for both the Governorship and State Assembly elections, including locations of Polling Units and Collation Centres.
Prof. Yakubu who disclosed this at a strategic meeting of the Inter – Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security (ICCES) held at the Commission’s Headquarters said haven made the delimitation details to the Police, the Commission “expect a coordinated deployment plan in synergy with other security, intelligence, law enforcement and safety agencies”.
He ,however, expressed the Commission’s appreciation to security agencies and other members of ICCES for the professionalism of personnel and the generally peaceful conduct of the elections , stressing:”we look forward to improved performance in the elections holding this weekend”.
According to Prof. Yakubu, the Governorship and State Assembly elections scheduled for this weekend involves more constituencies than the national elections held about three weeks ago.
“Unlike the last elections involving 470 constituencies (1 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”, he stressed.
Responding on behalf of ICCES before they went into technical session, General Mohammed Babagana Monguno, the National Security Adviser (NSA) also commended security agencies and intelligence organisations for their conduct and comportment in the presidential election.
While noting that Saturday’s elections are going to be much more complicated contextually as well as different,said :”we’re going to have 1021 constituencies, meaning we’re going to have more people interested, more people voting, more coalition centers, and obviously, the dynamics will be much more different than the elections that we that were just concluded”.
“While commending the efforts of the various political parties and the individuals that participated in the last election, especially those of them that called for peace for calm. I want to also urge the same individuals, especially at the state level, to demonstrate the same level of maturity the same level of discipline by calling their supporters to conduct themselves in a manner that is congruent with the expectations of the larger Nigerian society”, he stressed.
The NSA who said he has been talking with the Chief of Defense Staff and the Inspector General of Police, who is the head of the lead agency in the process of elections said :”So far, so good”.
” We do not envisage anything that’s going to be terrible or apocalyptic in terms of the next few days, but that does not mean that we should all do away with a state of readiness. We must comply with the rules. We must also allow everyone I’ve said this so many times to exercise their fundamental rights as citizens of this country.
“What we do not want to happen is for anybody to preempt, and to take the law into his or her own hands. I want to be very, very clear on this. We’re going to give the maximum support to all entities involved in this process. And we’re also calling on the political bigwigs, the gladiators to call their agents to order anybody who is itching to undermine this process should please think again. It is not in his own interest. It is not in the interest of the nation as well”,he said.
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