Edo Election: There Are Warning Signals, INEC Alerts Security Agencies

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Edo Election: There Are Warning Signals, INEC Alerts Security Agencies

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has urged the office of the Na­tional Security Adviser (NSA) and other security agencies involved in securing the coun­try’s electoral processes to be ready to nip in the bud possible threats to a peaceful poll in Edo State.
The call by INEC follows an intensive plot by political glad­iators to outwit one another in the days ahead to the election which starts with parties pri­maries.
Chairman of INEC, Prof Mahmood Yakubu who raised the alarm on the warning sig­nals ahead of the primaries, told the security agencies during a virtual interface with members of Inter-Agen­cy Consultative Committee on Election Security (ICCES) that they must act proactively to restore confidence in the process.
Stressing the need to en­sure the governorship prima­ries are crisis-free, the INEC boss noted with concern that experience overtime has shown that acrimonious primary are often carried forward to the electioneering campaigns and election day activities.
He said that the outbreak of the global pandemic, COVID-19 has also necessi­tated a review of the security architecture around elections to accommodate new realities as well as draw fresh code of conduct for security person­nel charged with securing the electoral process.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has altered the normal way of doing things, including the conduct of elections. For this reason, the commission released a new policy on conducting elections in the context of the COVID-19 pan­demic.
“As the prevailing COVID-19 pandemic will im­pact on the planning and de­ployment strategy for the con­duct of elections generally, it is necessary for ICCES to evolve effective ways of securing and protecting the integrity of the electoral process.
“As you are aware, the con­duct of primaries by political parties tends to be very ac­rimonious. The acrimony is carried forward into the elec­tioneering campaigns and Election Day activities.
“Already, there are warn­ing signals. The security agencies need to act proac­tively. Early engagement with political parties and as­pirants is necessary in order to create the atmosphere for peaceful primaries and con­sequently peaceful elections,” Yakubu said.

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