The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has vowed that
going forward, even though it has no power to cancel elections, it will
no longer declare winners in manipulated elections or where Returning
Officers are threatened.
The electoral umpire also said that elections will no longer proceed in
any constituency where the safety of voters, personnel and materials is
INEC Chairman, Mahmood Yakubu, gave the hint at the meeting of the
Inter-Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security (ICCES) in
According to him, “going forward, INEC has decided that although the
Commission has no power under the law to cancel an election, it will not
proceed with the process in any constituency where the safety of
voters, our personnel and materials is threatened.
“Furthermore, collation of results will not proceed where the collation
centres are invaded. No declaration of winners will be made where
Returning Officers are threatened”.
The Commission has also strengthened measures to check illegal
deployment of money by politicians to influence outcome of elections by
“You will similarly recall that at our last meeting, we expressed
concern about the dimension that illegal deployment of financial
resources to influence the outcome of elections, including vote-buying
at polling units on Election Day, has assumed.
“At the meeting, recognising the existing collaboration with the
anti-corruption agencies in tracking financial flows for illicit
purposes as well as the arrest and prosecution of perpetrators of such
flows, especially for the purpose of corrupting the electoral process
through vote-buying, resolved that the Economic and Financial Crimes
Commission (EFCC) and the Independent Corrupt Practices and other
Related Offences Commission (ICPC) should be included as members of
ICCES”, the INEC Chair added.
Meanwhile, the Commission decried security lapses that marred the 2019
general elections, especially the Bayelsa and Kogi governorship
It, therefore, vowed to adopt a different approach to election security.
According to Yakubu, “it is the responsibility of the security agencies
to secure the environment for the successful conduct of elections. The
purpose of security deployment during elections is to protect the
voters, election officials and materials, accredited observers, the
media and to safeguard the integrity of the processes generally,
including the polling units and collations centres.
“The Commission is concerned that security deployment in some of the most recent elections left much to be desired.
“There is more emphasis on numbers of security personnel to be deployed
but less consideration on strategic deployment to protect the process,
leaving the voters, election officials, party agents, observers, the
media and even unarmed security personnel at polling units vulnerable to
attacks by thugs and hoodlums.
“Furthermore, there is emphasis on numbers of security personnel but
less on synergy, coordination and collaboration among the various
security agencies in line with the purpose for which ICCES was
established in the first instance.
“We must adopt a different approach to election security. We must
translate the new approach to reality in the forthcoming re-run
elections such that Nigerians will see a qualitatively different
“No thugs and hoodlums can be more powerful than the Nigeria Police and
other security agencies. It is the failure to act decisively and
collaboratively that encourages thuggery and serves as an incentive for
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