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INEC worries about insecurity in Anambra, alerts on impending constitutional crisis

By Sodiq Omolaoye, Abuja
30 September 2021   |   4:14 am
Thirty-six days to the Anambra governorship election, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has expressed fears over worsening security challenges in the state.

[FILES] INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu. Photo; TWITTER/INECNIGERIA

Thirty-six days to the Anambra governorship election, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has expressed fears over worsening security challenges in the state.

INEC Chairman, Mahmood Yakubu, expressed the concerns, yesterday, at a forum on ‘Inclusive Election in Anambra and Beyond’, organised by INEC Press Corp in Abuja.

He noted that a constitutional crisis might ensue in the state if the commission is unable to conduct elections on account of insecurity.

Represented by National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye, the INEC chairman explained that Section 178 of the Constitution has restricted the period for the conduct of governorship elections.

He noted that the tenure of the incumbent governor would expire on March 17, 2022. Quoting relevant sections of the constitution, Yakubu said the earliest date for the election in Anambra is October 18, 2021, while the latest date is February 15, 2022.

“By virtue of the provisions of Section 1978(2) of the Constitution and Section 25(8) of the Electoral Act, election into the office of a state governor shall hold not earlier than 150 and not later than 30 days before the expiration of the term of office of the last holder of the office,” Yakubu said.

He said: “The commission needs a safe and secure environment for efficient and professional deployment of staff and materials. We must realise that young men and women doing their National Youth Service form the bulk of our Presiding Officers. Some of them are the only sons and daughters of their parents. Some of them graduated from school through determined perseverance in the face of hardship.

“Some of them are the products of community effort, while some of them did menial jobs to graduate. We, therefore, have a responsibility to protect them in the performance of this national assignment.”

“No form of insurance can cover for the loss of one life and the commission will on no account compromise on the safety and welfare of these individuals and all other staff that will be deployed for the election.”

Yakubu, therefore, appealed to all critical stakeholders to cooperate with the commission to avoid a constitutional challenge.