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.