The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has stated that no amount of security threat would stop the conduct of the 2023 general election.
The commission, therefore, pledged to continue to engage early and intensely with the security agencies to ensure the safety of its personnel and materials, accredited observers, the media as well as the voters.
The INEC chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, who stated this in Abuja Thursday at the public presentation of the 2022-2026 strategic plan and the 2023 Election Project Plan, said the documents presented were the third in the series of strategic election plans since the era of deliberate planning of elections began in 2012.
While expressing a strong determination to conduct elections in 2023, the INEC boss, however, noted that it is a shared responsibility with INEC playing a critical role, appealing to all Nigerians to join hands with the commission in ensuring that the process succeeded.
Yakubu said, “As you may be aware, the election will be conducted for 1,491 constituencies nationwide made up of one presidential constituency, 109 senatorial districts, 360 federal constituencies, 28 governorship elections and 993 state constituencies.
“The election will involve an estimated one million electoral officials (both permanent and temporary or ad hoc staff) deployed to 176,846 polling units in 8,809 Wards and 774 Local Government Areas across the country.
“The election will be governed by a new Electoral Act 2022, which contains many progressive provisions that will enhance the capacity of the commission to conduct elections and manage the electoral process better.
“We have carefully listened to the demand of Nigerians for seamless processes, particularly, with regard to enhanced voter education, better distribution of voters to polling units, quality training of election personnel, functionality of electronic devices, improved logistics, prompt commencement of polls, availability of assistive devices for persons with disability at polling units and greater transparency in result management.
“We are also aware of the security challenges and their impact on the electoral process. We will continue to engage early and intensely with the security agencies to ensure the safety of our personnel and materials, accredited observers and the media and, above all, the voters.
“Clearly, these are challenging times but we are determined that election must hold in 2023. However, this is a shared responsibility. INEC plays a critical role but the commission alone cannot deliver the elections we all desire. I, therefore, appeal to all Nigerians to join hands with us in ensuring that we make a success of the process.
“Let once again reiterate that the dates for all activities in the timetable and schedule of activities for the 2023 general election are firm and fixed and all stakeholders are advised to take this into consideration in planning their activities.”