As the 2023 general elections approach, former military administrator of Abia State, Air Vice Marshal Frank Ajobena (rtd.) has tasked the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to be more proactive in the security of its facilities and personnel, including the ad hoc staff comprising mainly serving National Youth Corps (NYSC) members.
He also called on the electoral umpires to “be very firm on the political players, especially those found to be encouraging thuggery”.
While addressing journalists at Egberode community in Okpe Local Government Area of Delta State on Monday, Ajobenasaid that “INEC should come out hard on those fomenting political killings or heating up the polity.
“Though INEC has assured everybody that they will conduct free and fair elections through the use of the BVAS (Bimodal Voter Accreditation System), it is advisory that the electoral umpires should take the issue of security of facilities and personnel very seriously as well, now that preparations are in top gear for the polls”.
Ajobena, a former national caucus member of All Progressives Congress (APC) prior to his stepping aside from partisan politics, said that zoning, contenders’ political antecedents in governance as well as the strength of the political parties fielding candidates are among the factors that would determine winners at the forthcoming elections.
He however advised the electorate to take decisive actions at the polls.
He said: “The insecurity situation in the country is terribly bad. I doubt if people can now sleep with their two eyes closed in any part of the country. We are now worse off. Those who sponsor terror, what measures have been taken to deal with them? Some of them are even spokesmen for the terrorists. Government has to be seen to be taking steps to deal with such criminalities. On the issue of herdsmen, government has remained silent on them while killings persist. Government must do something to unravel this mystery of unknown gunmen.
“Also, inflation and collapse of the naira coupled with mass unemployment in the country and the soaring exchange rate are clear indices of economic failure.
“And in the face of all these, corruption is continuing to thrive very well in the country despite the lip service by government. We see people who had been convicted and released overnight. It is getting worse.
“The 2023 general elections will serve Nigerians golden opportunity to make decision on which of the candidates they think would be in a better position to secure their security and also lift the populace out of their precarious conditions. That is, candidates who have the pedigree to address these issues squarely.
“Every voter has a responsibility to weigh options on which of those candidates or parties can address the issues of insecurity notably terrorism and banditry, economy, corruption, etc. that have bedeviled the country”.