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Senate decries endless attacks on INEC facilities

The Nigerian Senate Wednesday decried endless attacks on the Independent National Electoral Commission facilities in some parts of the Federation.

In his address at a one-day ‘Special Hearing on the Extent of Implementation of the Electoral Act, 2022 ahead of 2023 General Election’, the Chairman of the Senate Committee on INEC, Senator Ibrahim Kabir Gaya urged security agencies to step up action for a smooth election.

Gaya acknowledged collaboration between INEC and security agencies and expressed optimism that they would be able to stem the tide of attacks in the geopolitical zone that has been under attack, adding that it was for that reason that heads of security agencies were invited to the public hearing.

The lawmaker said, “It is important to note here that the Committee has noted with dismay attacks on INEC facilities but we are hopeful that with the collaboration between INEC and security agencies, elections will be held in the areas concerned.

“Some captains of relevant security agencies are also represented in this special hearing to brief the Committee.

Reacting to the preparedness of INEC ahead of the general election slated for February 25, 2023, Mrs May Agbamuche representing the Chairman, said the umpire was committed to a free, fair and credible election.

Mrs Agbamuche revealed that the Commission was facing challenges of violence and the threat of attack, a development, she posited, made deployment of human and material resources difficult.

She said: “Our preparation is, however, fraught with challenges. There is no doubt that violence and the threat of violence are major challenges to credible elections in 2023.

“Violence makes deployment for elections difficult, particularly, where some of the attacks are targeted at the electoral process.

“However, the Commission has been working with security agencies and other stakeholders to establish mechanisms to understand, track and mitigate security challenges.

“We are working collaboratively in the context of the Inter-Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security (ICCES).”

According to her, the Commission has taken note of the attacks and has activated collaborations to ensure a violence-free election.

Agbamuche who is a National Commissioner ruled out any possibility of postponing the 2023 general election for any reason, insisting that the election will proceed as planned.

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