Political parties and their supporters have been urged to avoid violence as the March 18, 2023 Governorship and House of Assembly elections approach.
Professor Mahmood Yakubu, Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), and Major General Babagana Moguno, National Security Adviser (NSA), made the appeal on Tuesday during the Inter-Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security.
Yakubu urged political parties, candidates, and supporters to view the election as a competition rather than a war.
The INEC chairman wants them to “refrain from acts of violence that may mar the elections or compromise the security of our personnel, observers, the media and service providers.”
“There will also be more candidates involved and more collation centres to protect. They are also local elections involving keen contests. It is therefore important for parties and candidates to speak to their agents and supporters to see the elections as a contest and not war,” he added.
While praising security agencies for their professionalism and the largely peaceful conduct of the presidential election, Yakubu stated that INEC state offices have provided the police with details for the governorship and state assembly elections, including the locations of polling units and collation centers.
March 18 election
The Governorship elections will only hold in 28 States. The exempted are eight states – Anambra, Bayelsa, Edo, Ekiti, Imo, Kogi, Ondo and Osun – because polls are held off-cycle.
To ensure a hitch-free election, INEC in collaboration with security agencies will ensure that the exercise the State elections will involve 1,021 constituencies.