By Gift Olivia Samuel, The Sight News
The Chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Mahmood Yakubu has solicited the support of the security agencies to enable the Commission deliver credible elections in the November 6, Anambra Governorship Election and the Isoko South I State Assembly Constituency this weekend.
Prof. Yakubu who made this known Thursday at the third quarterly meeting of Inter-Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security (ICCES), said the focus of the meeting was the Anambra State Governorship election holding on 6th November 2021.
While recalling the attack on its State office in Awka which resulted in extensive damage to the building and destruction of critical facilities for the election, he informed the ICCES that arrangements have been made to replace all lost movable materials.
Speaking on voter accreditation during the Anambra Governorship election, he disclosed the Commission’s plans to introduce a new technology called the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) which has the capability for both the fingerprint and facial biometric accreditation.
“Over the last three days, we have explained and demonstrated how the new device will work during our consultative meetings with political parties, civil society organisations and the media. We will do the same at this meeting.
“I must also add that we have concluded arrangements to pilot the new device this weekend in the Isoko South I State constituency bye-election in Delta State”, he concluded.
For his part, the National Security Adviser (NSA) and Co-Chair of ICCES, Babagana Monguno, noted that the successes recorded in recent bye-elections in some constituencies across the country are attributable to the synergy between INEC and members of ICCES as well as other stakeholders, and expressed hopes to consolidate same in subsequent polls.
Mongonu, who was represented by Mr. Sanusi Galadima, however, warned that the Federal Government will not tolerate any group or persons planning to impede smooth conduct of elections, especially the Anambra Election.
He said, “With the prevalence of security threats occasioned by different dissident separatist groups in the Southern region of the country, who are bent on scuttling efforts of government in achieving national cohesion and undermining the democratic processes in the country, the Federal Government of Nigeria will not tolerate any group or persons planning to impede smooth conduct of elections.
“While acknowledging the constitutional rights of citizens to freely express their legitimate grievances within the ambits of the law, it is also important to state that the Federal government will not abdicate its constitutional responsibility of securing lives and property as well as a secure environment for citizens to pursue their legitimate means of livelihood”.
Furthermore, he pointed out that the ONSA is poised to ensure robust deployments before, during and after the polls, with a view to countering any threats and ensuring peaceful conduct of the polls, especially in the forthcoming off-cycle Anambra State Gubernatorial Election.