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INEC Seeks Timely Arrest And Prosecution Of Attackers

 

No Going Back On Announced Dates For 2023 Election - INEC

Sequel to the recent attacks on facilities of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) by alleged hoodlums across some states of the federation, the Commission has come out to seek timely arrest and prosecution of such attackers.

Naija News reports that the commission’s Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu gave this as the solution or way out of these continuous attacks on the facilities of the electoral umpire.

According to him, timely arrest and prosecution of perpetrators of attacks on its facilities and assets nationwide would end the trend.

Yakubu, who said this in his remark at the opening of a two-day Induction Retreat for the commission’s Residents Electoral Commissioners (RECs) in Lagos on Wednesday, disclosed that five local government offices of the commission were attacked by unknown persons in the last four months.

The INEC boss advanced that the commission has lost critical facilities and assets due to the series of attacks, the situation, therefore needs to be urgently attended to.

He also promised that the commission will continue to work with the security agencies, traditional and community leaders and all well-meaning Nigerians to stop the attacks.

Yakubu said the commission would do all in its power to ensure the election holds as scheduled, ”and the will of Nigerian people will prevail. That is what we have been assuring Nigerians about.”

The INEC chair submitted that “These facilities including a total of 1,992 ballot boxes, 399 voting cubicles and 22 electric power generators as well as thousands of uncollected PVCs (Permanent Voter Cards) among many other items.

“These attacks must stop and the perpetrators apprehended and prosecuted. Our responsibility is to conduct elections. The best solution for us is the arrest and prosecution of perpetrators.

“The ultimate solutions are the arrest and prosecution of the culprits so that vandals and arsonists do not feel that bad behaviour is acceptable in our country. It is really very sad as elections approach.

“However, I want to assure Nigerians that we will recover from these attacks, those materials will be replaced, but there is a limit to our ability to keep replacing lost items with just 86 days to the general elections.”

Addressing the speculations from some quarters that voters could vote without PVC on election day, the INEC boss explained that “The commission has consistently maintained policies that ‘no PVCs, no voting. Nothing has changed. It is a legal requirement and doing otherwise will be a violation of the law.

“I urge Nigerians to ignore those suggestions that a person can vote on the election day without a PVC.”

Naija News learnt that while speaking about the retreat, which was organised for its RECs by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Yakubu pointed out that it was part of the preparation for the 2023 general elections.

“We are having a retreat involving all the Residents Electoral Commissioners as we are aware 19 of them were sworn in about four weeks ago.

“We felt that there should be an induction retreat for them to familiarise themselves with the processes and procedures because the election is held in the next 86 days.

“I want to reiterate that our success ultimately depends on our integrity. We should remain independent and impartial.

“The commission is not a political party. The commission has no candidates in the forthcoming elections.

” All political parties have equal standing before the commission. The choice belongs to Nigerian citizens, the electorate.

“Our responsibility is to uphold the sanctity of the ballots, nothing more and nothing less,” he added.

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