Nigeria’s Electoral Commission (INEC) has emphasized that security is its primary concern for the upcoming off-cycle governorship elections in Bayelsa, Imo, and Kogi states.
INEC Chairman, Professor Yakubu Mahmoud, made this known during a commission-organized mock voters accreditation exercise.
He disclosed that the commission is collaborating with security agencies to arrest any incidence of insecurity before, during, and after elections.
A history of violence
Kogi state is in North Central Nigeria and about 200 kilometres from Abuja, Nigeria’s Capital City. This election cycle has already witnessed a series of campaign related violence.
On November 18th 2019, Salome Abuh, the Peoples Democratic Party’s (PDP) woman leader, was burnt alive at Ochada.
On Saturday however Professor Yakubu urged election officers to properly bag all non-sensitive materials on the ground for easy movement on election day.
The commission is also providing alternative polling units at Family Support Program Nursery, Primary and UBE Junior Secondary School Gaduma Lokoja to Ganaja Poling unit centers in the event of flooding on election day. INEC has assured that there would be a high level of transparency in the electoral process.
The Resident Electoral Commissioner of Kogi state, Hale Longpet, also spoke after the mock voters accreditation exercise. He stated that the commission has put measures in place to ensure a peaceful and credible election in the state.
He urged political parties and their supporters to play by the rules and avoid any act that could lead to violence or disruption of the electoral process. Mr. Longpet also disclosed that INEC has trained and deployed over 25,000 ad-hoc staff for the election, and that the commission is fully prepared to conduct a free, fair, and credible election in Kogi state.