Yakubu: INEC Worried over Prevailing Insecurity Ahead February 3 By-elections

Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja

Ahead of the by-elections scheduled to hold on February 3, 2024, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), has expressed concern over the prevailing insecurity in some states and it impacts on the conduct of the elections.

INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, stated this yesterday in Abuja at a meeting of the Inter-agency Consultative Committee on Election Security (ICCES).

He lamented that the prevailing insecurity had been made worse by incendiary statements by some political actors.

Yakubu recalled that in his remarks at the Commission’s extraordinary meeting with leaders of political parties last month, he reported that the elections affected 35 national and state constituencies.

“Since then, four additional orders of the Court of Appeal have been served on the Commission in respect of Yabo/Shagari Federal Constituency of Sokoto State, Madara/Chinade State Constituency of Bauchi State as well as Kudan and Kauru/Chawai State Constituencies of Kaduna State.

“This brings the total number of affected constituencies to 39, which translates to 2.6% of the 1,491 Constituencies for which elections were conducted nationwide in the 2023 general election. The nine by-elections are fresh elections covering the entire constituencies,” he said.

Yakubu noted that with the exception of three Constituencies (Plateau North Senatorial District and Jos North/Bassa Federal Constituency in Plateau State and Kachia/Kagarko Federal Constituency in Kaduna State), the re-run elections were to be held in a few polling units.

He said in some cases, only one polling unit was affected in an entire federal or state constituency.

The chairman said their task as members of ICCES was to ensure security for the elections.

According to him, “For this reason, the Commission has already provided to the Nigeria Police Force, as the lead agency in election security, the full information of the locations, where the elections will be held broken down by States, Local Government Areas, Registration Areas/Wards and Polling Units.

Yakubu said the commission has also provided the number of registered voters and Permanent Voters’ Cards (PVCs) collected in each Polling Unit, adding that the same information would be shared at this meeting with other members of ICCES.

He stressed that the updated information would also be uploaded to the Commission’s website and social media platforms for public information.

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