A pan-Yoruba socio-political organisation, Afenifere has insisted that the general elections must not be altered and that nothing should be done to change the dates.
Afenifere’s National Publicity Secretary, Mr Jare Ajayi said: “Every effort must be made to ensure that the general elections slated for February and March this year not only hold successfully but also that winners emerge and are sworn in on May 29, 2023, as stipulated by relevant laws.
“We recall that in 2015, there was insecurity too to the extent that some local government areas, specifically in Borno State, were in the hands of Boko Haram terrorists. Yet elections were held. There also was insecurity in 2019 and elections were not stopped”.
On Monday, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) warned that the general elections face serious threat of cancellation unless the security situation is improved.
As scheduled, the presidential and National Assembly elections are 45 days away, while the governorship and state assembly polls hold a fortnight afterwards.
At the validation of election security training resources held in Abuja, INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu raised an alarm over rising security situation across the country and its impact on the elections.
Represented by the Chairman of the Board of Electoral Institute, Abdullahi Zuru, the INEC boss said that “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 election results and precipitate constitutional crisis”.
The commission, however, assured that it would not leave anything to chance in ensuring that intensive and extensive security are provided for election personnel, materials and processes.
Mahmood said: “We all appreciate the fact that election security is vital to democratic consolidation through provision of enabling environment for the conduct of free, fair, credible and inclusive elections and thus strengthening the electoral process.
“Consequently, in preparations for the 2023 general elections, the commission is not leaving anything to chance in ensuring that intensive and extensive security are provided for election personnel, materials and processes.
“This is particularly significant to the commission given the current insecurity challenges in various parts the country and the fact that the National Youth Service Corps members constitute the core of the polling unit election officials”.