The Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Prof Mahmood Yakubu, said security operatives have assured maximum security during the 2023 elections.
Yakubu said this while speaking in Washington on Tuesday, at an event organised by the National Endowment for Democracy and the International Foundation for Electoral Systems at the NED Headquarters, Washington DC, United States of America.
Although the INEC chairman said insecurity in the country was concerning, noting that the security challenge which was hitherto restricted to the North-East region has now spread to other parts of the country.
Yakubu said over 41 attacks have been carried out against its offices across 14 states since the 2019 general election, with the South-East recording 13 attacks.
In all, the electoral body recorded nine attacks in 2019, 21 incidents in 2020 and over 12 as of May 2021. It also lost 9,836 smart card readers, 345 ballot boxes, and 135 voting cubicles, among other assets.
The INEC chairman, however, said he has received assurances from the service chiefs that they would secure the voting environment during the 2023 polls.
He also acknowledged the issue of political thuggery which he said was organized by some of the political actors.
Yakubu said, ‘’Elections are conducted by human beings. We worry about the security of our officials, voters and the materials to be deployed. Without them, we cannot conduct elections. We have spoken to the security agencies and they have assured us that the situation will improve before the elections.
“So, fingers crossed. Those who are supposed to secure the environment have assured us that they will secure the environment for us to conduct elections. Our responsibility is to conduct elections.”
Buttressing the significance of the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System, Yakubu noted that the machine has eliminated the flaws in previous elections, including identity theft and multiple accreditations.