Beef up security at INEC offices nationwide, Group urges FG
An NGO, Interfaith Dialogue Forum for Peace (IDFP), has called on the Federal Government to beef up security at the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) office nationwide.
Co-chairmen of IDFP, Rev. Amos Kiri and Dr Yusuf Arrigasiyyu, who made the call at a news briefing in Abuja on Wednesday, also called for protection of INEC officials at polling units and collation centres.
The news briefing was tagged: ‘Nigeria’s 2023 General Elections: Emerging Issues and Threats to a Peaceful Transition.’
The group also said that insecurity should not be used as a tool for serving political interests, such as voter suppression in the country.
It expressed concern over the spate of violent conflicts, armed banditry and terrorism in some parts of the country, especially with the election approaching.
“There have also been security threats from multiple groups across the country trying to undermine the elections.
“The credibility of the 2023 general elections will depend greatly on the degree to which citizens can vote freely, with their votes counting.
“Beyond the tension that may be generated before or during the polls, another threat can also arise from disputes over election results,” it stated.
The group also decried situations where the country’s politics was divided across religious, ethnic, regional and party lines.
It frowned at some groups openly endorsing candidates based on primordial sentiments, saying that this portends a threat to the nation’s democracy.
“We call on the institutions, groups and individuals that have critical roles to play in the election to ensure peaceful, fair, transparent and credible polls,” it said.
The group also noted that since the introduction of the new naira notes, Nigerians had suffered untold hardship owing to the non-availability of the new currencies.
“The naira redesign might have been intended to help the economy but the ordinary citizens have faced the brunt of the policy.
“The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) should increase the supply of the new naira notes to commercial banks to ease the hardship of the masses,” the group said.