Insecurity Could Delay, Disrupt Nigeria’s Election, Again, EU Warns

THE European Union (EU) has warned that next month’s general election might not be held in parts of Nigeria due to a hostile “security climate”.

Rudolf Elbling, the team leader of the EU’s Support to Democratic Governance in Nigeria said the situation could create “a lot of legal implications for the entire process”.

News Point Nigeria reported that, with the 2023 general elections on the horizon, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says there are neither considerations of nor plans for postponement.

The INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, said this on Tuesday afternoon, while delivering a lecture at Chatham House on the topic ‘Nigeria’s 2023 Elections: Preparations and Priorities for Electoral Integrity and Inclusion’.

“We believe that by forthrightly sharing our experiences and discussing the challenges openly, we can surmount the challenges and ensure that our elections in Nigeria continue to get better.

“May I, on this note, once again reiterate our position that the commission is not contemplating, let alone planning, to postpone the 2023 general election. We are going ahead to conduct the election as scheduled,” he said at the London-based policy institute.

Speaking on the spate of attacks on INEC facilities across the country, Yakubu decried that 50 cases had been recorded since 2019.

“The implication of the attacks is that we have to rebuild facilities and replace materials. The Commission and the security agencies have increased their presence in some of these locations,” the INEC boss said.

“The last attacks actually happened on Sunday last week but because of the cooperation between the military and the electoral commission, we’re able to respond and the damage was limited to just a section of the building in a local government office.”

The Commission has repeatedly called for concerted efforts to control and check these attacks, he added.

“In December last year, the National Assembly held a public hearing on these attacks and we hope that authorities have these attacks under control and the response by the security agencies is more coordinated.

“But in spite of these attacks, we’ll rebuild facilities. We’ll replace damaged or lost items. The election will continue,” he said.

Recall, the United Nations and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) have cautioned Nigeria against violence in the forthcoming general elections.

The two global bodies reminded Nigerians of the consequences should there be outbreak of violence, adding that no other nation in the sub-region could possibly accommodate the nation’s refugees.

The warning was issued in Jos, Plateau State Capital, by the two bodies during a mediation training and interactive engagement with the Inter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC) and other stakeholders.

According to the report, the stakeholders were drawn from the North-Central and the North-East, on non-violence 2023 elections.

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