— To Activate Additional 1,862 CVR Centres Nationwide
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has assured Nigerians that its officials and security agencies will demonstrate high level of professionalism in conducting the 2023 general elections and other preceding polls.
The INEC chairman, Mahmood Yakubu, gave the assurance during the commission’s first quarterly meeting of the Inter-Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security in 2022.
Yakubu noted that while it is the obligation of electorates to determine the outcome of elections, INEC and security agencies have a duty to protect electoral processes to guarantee integrity of outcomes.
“The conduct of the Anambra Governorship election will go down in history as a remarkable accomplishment. On behalf of INEC, let me seize this opportunity to commend the professionalism of the security agencies without which the peaceful conduct of the election would not have been possible.
“I am confident that the standard of professional conduct displayed by INEC officials and the security agencies in the Edo, Ondo and Anambra State Governorship elections will be maintained in all forthcoming polls, including the 2023 General Election,” he said.
Yakubu noted that during the course of 2021, the committee met seven times as against its four regular yearly meetings during which it strategised on how best to protect INEC facilities from malicious attacks.
THE WHISTLER reported that Yakubu had in May 2021 warned that unless attacks on INEC facilities are hurriedly checked, the commission may not be able to conduct future elections effectively.
The electoral body had recorded 42 attacks on its offices within two years, prompting its management to visit President Muhammadu Buhari for intervention.
Meanwhile, at Thursday’s meeting of members of the INEC election security committee, Yakubu said an additional 1,862 centers would be activated nationwide for its Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) exercise as the country’s security situation improves.
“The CVR exercise has now entered its Third Quarter. I want to assure Nigerians that we are aware of the constraints experienced by many citizens in reaching the 811 designated centres nationwide to register. Some of them are separated by considerable distance from the places where citizens reside. We are looking forward to activating the additional 1,862 centres nationwide to make it easier for citizens to exercise their right to register as voters.
“At the same time, we are mindful of the imperative of securing the process, especially the lives of registrants and our personnel. We will not put the lives of Nigerians and our registration officials at risk. For this reason, this meeting will review the security situation with a view to achieving our ultimate goal of activating 2,673 registration centres nationwide,” he said.