The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has warned that if the electoral violence plaguing its facilities continues into January and February 2023, the electoral body might not recover in time for the general elections.

Why it matters 
Electoral related violence is a major concern for INEC as a recurrence of attacks on the commission’s offices continue. Just last week, INEC reported that its facilities have suffered 50 violent incidents so far since 2019.

What they are saying 
The National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, INEC, Mr. Festus Okoye stated that non-state actors are properly coordinating the recent incidents to derail lNEC’s efforts in conducting a free, fair, credible, and transparent election. He also listed the commission’s efforts to replace lost and destroyed election related properties. 

What you should know 
For many years, elected officers in Nigeria have continuously participated in election fraud, such as impersonation of voters, vote buying, snatching of ballot boxes, bribing electoral officials, etc. To address this menace, INEC is incorporating the use of technology to make elections more credible. The electoral body has recorded successes with these technologies in the Anambra, Ekiti and Osun State gubernatorial elections. One of these technologies is BVAS. 

Nigeria is 66 days from electing its next set of leaders. While the country’s next President, Vice President, and members of the Senate will be elected on 25 February 2023, Nigeria would hold another round of election on March 11 2023 for twenty-eight gubernatorial positions alongside members of the state houses of assembly in all 36 states. 

Although Nigerian security agencies have continued to assure citizens of their safety, it is no news that the security situation in the country is worrying and the security threat posed by non-state actors can limit the turnout of voters and INEC officials on Election Day. 

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