INEC chairman Mahmood Yakubu in a lecture delivered on his behalf at the 2021 annual Abubakar Momoh Memorial Lecture organized by The Election Institute (TEI), said attacks on the commission’s facilities were frightening.
The memorial lecture holds annually in honor of the erstwhile TEI director-general, the late Abubakar Momoh, who died on May 29, 2017.
This year’s lecture’s theme, ‘Security and Elections: Implications for Anambra State Governorship and 2023 General Elections,’ was delivered on behalf of Yakubu by Mohammed Haruna, INEC’s national commissioner.
“The topic of today’s lecture is quite significant, especially with the ongoing security challenges nationwide and particularly as there have been numerous attacks on the commission’s offices and properties all over the country.
“For instance, between 2019 general elections and now, there have been attacks on 42 INEC offices. We are, therefore, seriously concerned about the impact of this challenge when the physical appearance of registrants begins at the 2,673 registration centers soon,” he stated.
Speaking further, he noted, “This challenge is more pronounced as the commission will deploy 5,345 staff to officiate in the 2,673 registration centers. Naturally, we are deeply concerned about their safety even more than we are about the security of our property and materials.’’
He revealed that INEC was “more immediately” concerned about the Anambra governorship election slated for November 6, especially following the attack on the head office in Anambra.
Yakubu added, “The commission, in collaboration with all stakeholders, is determined to tackle this challenge. Definitely, we cannot face it alone. This is why voter education and information, constant dialogue, community outreaches, deliberations, and assessments such as this public lecture will continue.
“The Nigerian public must own the desire for democracy and peaceful conduct of elections.’’