Ahead of Saturday’s governorship and state assembly elections, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has warned political parties and their supporters not to engage in any act of violence capable of disrupting the election.
INEC chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu gave the warning on Tuesday in Abuja during an inter-agency consultative committee on election security.
He called on the political parties to see themselves as stakeholders in the forthcoming elections and approach it as a contest, not war.
The INEC chairman added that security agents have been briefed with the details for the governorship and state assembly elections, including locations of polling units and collation centres and expressed confidence that they will do their jobs professionally just like in times past.
“On that basis, we expect a coordinated deployment plan in synergy with other security, intelligence, law enforcement and safety agencies.
“Only yesterday, the commission held a virtual meeting with all the resident electoral commissioners (RECs) in which we reviewed preparations for the state elections. In addition to election technology, logistics and a host of other issues, security was also discussed,” Yakubu said.
The INEC chairman added that the commission is ready to handle all cases relating to electoral offences and appreciated the Inspector-General of Police for his recent directive that such cases still with the police be given expedited attention.
“They should refrain from acts of violence that may mar the elections or compromise the security of our personnel, observers, the media and service providers,” he said.
“The commission is encouraged by the directive to state commands by the inspector general of police to handle all cases of electoral offences expeditiously.
“We look forward to receiving the case files. We will immediately set up a legal team to handle such cases in earnest.”