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INEC alerts on plans to disrupt Feb 3 by-elections

The Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Mahmood Yakubu has raised an alarm over plans to disrupt the February 3 rerun and bye-elections in parts of the country.

Yakubu raised the alarm on Tuesday in Abuja at the first quarterly meeting of the Inter-agency Consultative Committee on Election Security (ICCES).

“From experience, the conduct of isolated elections such as bye-elections and re-run elections can be very challenging. We must pay attention to the potential for disruptive behaviour by some candidates and their supporters.

“Arising from the reports we received from the states, concerns have been raised about the impact of the prevailing insecurity in some states on the conduct of the elections, made worse by incendiary statements by some political actors,” Yakubu said.

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He challenged the security agencies to make the environment conducive for the conduct of the elections.

The INEC boss said that as security agencies, it is their responsibility to secure the environment to enable the commission deploy personnel and materials, the protection of observers, the media as well as the polling and collation agents representing the political parties and candidates, adding that without a secure and peaceful environment, the conduct of credible elections is imperiled.

Also speaking, the National Security Adviser (NSA) and co-chairman of ICCES, Nuhu Ribadu said that President assured that the office of the NSA will continue to collaborate with INEC to ensure that elections are conducted in a secure environment, adding that the protection of election materials and the electorates will be paramount.

On his part, the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Kayode Egbetokun, said the security agencies were aware of the challenges of isolated elections and assured Nigerians that they were on top of the situation.

He said the police have conducted a threat analysis in the states where the elections will take place and will deploy adequate personnel to the areas for the elections to ensure security and safety of electorates and election officials.

 

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