The Independent National Electoral Commission has told security agencies to maintain the same level of professionalism during the governorship election in Anambra State for the 2023 general polls.
The chairman of INEC, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, gave the charge during the commission’s meeting with Inter-agency Consultative Committee on Election Security which held in Abuja.
According to him, the governorship election in Anambra State passed off peacefully despite the tension and actual violence preceding it.
He said the Anambra poll would go down in history as a remarkable accomplishment.
Yakubu said, “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 governorship elections will be maintained in all forthcoming polls, including the 2023 general election.
“Our responsibility is to protect the process to guarantee its integrity while leaving the outcome of the election for voters to determine.”
He stressed the need for security agencies to provide adequate security for the 2023 election holding in 394 days time.
“Securing the nation under current circumstances is challenging enough. It is more so in an election year. Beginning from this meeting, we shall focus mainly on the best way to secure the electoral process in the most professional manner,” he added.
Speaking on the Continuous Voter Registration exercise, Yakubu said the commission was aware of the constraints experienced by many citizens in reaching the 811 designated centres nationwide to register
He added that some of the centres are separated by considerable distance from the places where citizens reside.
Yakubu said the process of activating the additional 1,862 centres nationwide to make it easier for citizens to exercise their right to register as voters is in motion.
“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.
The National Security Adviser and Co-chairman of ICCES, Maj-Gen. Babagana Monguno (retd.), represented by Sanusi Galadima reiterated the commitment of the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), to ensure a free fair and credible general election in the 2023 election.
Monguno said all available security architecture of the government would be mobilised to achieve the objective of a credible election in 2023.
He commended Yakubu and his team regarding the ongoing technological innovation in the electoral process as it would undoubtedly deepen the nation’s democratic culture
“All available security architecture of the government will be mobilized to achieve this objective.
‘Although the Anambra governorship election was adjudged hitch-free, it was not without some logistics and operational challenges. Accordingly, this meeting is timely as it will enable members to brainstorm on how to address the identified challenges in a proactive manner,” he added.