INEC Vows No Election Repeats Over Violence

INEC, as the electoral management body in Nigeria, is responsible for planning, organizing, and overseeing elections in the country. The commission’s primary objective is to ensure free and fair elections that reflect the will of the people. This is a complex and challenging task, given the diverse nature of Nigeria and the potential for violence and disruptions during elections.

Over the years, INEC has introduced various measures and reforms to enhance the integrity of the electoral process. These include the use of technology for voter registration, accreditation, and results transmission, as well as the deployment of security personnel to maintain order during elections.

The recent decision by INEC not to revisit any polling units in the event of election cancellations due to violence is a departure from previous practices. In the past, when elections were canceled or marred by violence, INEC would often reschedule elections in the affected areas. This decision to not revisit polling units has generated significant debate and reactions from various stakeholders.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has made a resolute commitment not to revisit any polling units in the event of election cancellations due to violence. INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, relayed this decision during a gathering in Yenagoa on Tuesday. The meeting, aimed at preparing for the upcoming Saturday gubernatorial election, brought together key stakeholders.

INEC has affirmed that it will not revisit polling units in case of election cancellations due to violence during the gubernatorial election
The commission will deploy additional personnel, and the police have mobilized specialized units to ensure a peaceful election

Yakubu, represented by INEC National Commissioner overseeing Akwa-Ibom, Bayelsa, and Rivers states, May Agbamuche-Mbu, unequivocally stated, “Where there is violence, it will be zero; we will not return to that polling unit to conduct an election.”

To ensure smooth oversight of the electoral process, the commission will deploy two national commissioners and eight resident electoral commissioners to provide support in Bayelsa.

Meanwhile, Bayelsa State’s Commissioner of Police, Tolani Alausa, assured that law enforcement is fully prepared to guarantee a peaceful election in the state this Saturday. Deputy Commissioner of Police in Charge of Operations, Ijamah Daniel, speaking on behalf of the police chief, revealed plans to deploy three to six personnel to each polling unit.

Beyond these measures, the Inspector General of Police has deployed as many as 21 units of mobile police force, along with specialized units such as the special force, the counter-terrorism unit, and the special protection unit, all heading to Bayelsa State.

Denise Otiotio, the state chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), voiced concerns over certain political parties allegedly acquiring BVAS (Biometric Voter Accreditation System) and printing result sheets to replace the original ones post-election. In response, he urged INEC to insist on signing all result sheets before their release for the election. These actions signify INEC’s unwavering commitment to the integrity of the electoral process.

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