The chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC Professor Mahmood Yakubu, has said that the 2023 general election will be held in spite of the various attacks on the commission’s facilities across the nation.
Addressing an audience at Chatham House, London, Tuesday afternoon, Yakubu decried the increasing spate of attacks on INEC’s facilities in form of arson but reassured the audience that the commission would go ahead with the elections as scheduled.
The electoral umpire chairman, while noting that 50 facilities of the commission had been attacked in four years, said the implications of the attacks were that the commission would need to continue to rebuild the burnt facilities and replace materials.
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He, however, assured that INEC, in collaboration with security agencies, had increased security presence in some of the attack-prone locations.
He noted that the last attack on the commission’s facilities happened last week Sunday but the commission was able to respond quickly with the help of the military, thereby minimising the extent of damage done to that attacked facility.
“In four years, 50 facilities (have been) attacked in various parts of the country. The implications of the attacks is that we have to rebuild facilities and replace materials. The commission and security agencies have increased their presence in some of these locations. The last attack happened on Sunday last week but because of the cooperation between the military and the electoral commission, we were able to respond and the damage was limited to just a section of the building in a local government office.
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“The commission has repeatedly called for concerted efforts to control and check these attacks and 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 will rebuild facilities and replace damaged and lost items, the elections will hold,” Yakubu said.