Elections will hold — FG assures Nigerians

The Federal Government assured yesterday that the general elections scheduled for next month will take place as planned.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, made the assurance at the 17th edition of President Muhammadu Buhari’s scorecard series from 2015 to 2023, held in Abuja.

The minister’s assurance came in the wake of INEC’s warning that the 2023 elections could be postponed or cancelled if the country’s growing wave of election-related insecurity was not addressed.

The Chairman of, Board of The Electoral Institute TEI, INEC’s training arm, Professor Abdullahi Abdu Zuru, who represented INEC Chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, at the validation of election security training resources, in Abuja, had said on Monday: “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 declaration of elections results and precipitate a constitutional crisis.

“This must not be allowed to happen and shall not be allowed to happen. Therefore, security personnel in particular and all elected officials, in general, must be security-conscious and alert to unusual activities in their environment and must be fully equipped to deal with any challenge at all times.”

However, Mohammed said the polls will be held, adding that the Federal Government is aware that INEC is working with security agencies to ensure that the elections are successfully held across the country.

Mohammed spoke as the INEC’s alarm over polls postponement or cancellation raised dust in the polity with the electoral body clarifying issues around security, election postponement and seeking the commitment of all stakeholders to credible polls. The commission is also set to present the voters’ register to political parties, a source told Vanguard, yesterday.

The Minister said: “Let me use this opportunity to respond to inquiries from the media over a widely-circulated report, credited to an INEC official, that the 2023 general elections face a serious threat of cancellation due to insecurity.

“The position of the Federal Government remains that the 2023 elections will be held as planned. Nothing has happened to change that position. We are aware that INEC is working with security agencies to ensure that the elections are successfully held across the country.

“The security agencies have also continued to assure Nigerians that they are working tirelessly to ensure that the elections are held in a peaceful atmosphere. Therefore, there is no cause for alarm.”

 

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