Over the last few weeks, the nation has been inundated with reported attacks and incineration of facilities of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and Nigeria Police by bandits and unknown gunmen, especially in South-Eastern states; the most recent being a developing story of an attack on INEC secretariat and a police Division in Awka, Anambra state.
The current situation, where police and INEC infrastructures are not left out is an indication of the helplessness of the state government and federal authorities on ways to mitigate the crisis which portends a grave threat to our electoral processes and indeed the security of lives and properties.
It is more so worrisome that Anambra state which is the recent target of these attacks by the so-called unknown gunmen, is preparing for its gubernatorial poll in November, and while these attacks and wanton destructions of critical infrastructures continued to gain momentum across the region, Nigerians are helpless in the face of a glaringly inefficient security system.
Responding to previous attacks, the Chairman of the INEC, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu had alluded to the fact that future elections may be threatened if drastic steps are not taken to forestall these targeted attacks, although, he assured that the Commission will continue with preparations for all its scheduled polls.
May we state that election is important ingredient of democracy and a tool that gives the majority of the people to decide their political leaders at all levels; hence, attacks on INEC facilities is a direct attack on democracy and the constitutional right of the people to elect those that will govern them.
SING Nigeria unequivocally condemns these incessant attacks which are a clear message of actors that are disenchanted with the system, and seeking means to destabilize the nation’s electoral process which seems to be our only binding factor.
The state and federal authorities must urgently strengthen security around INEC facilities if we must avoid a further drift into anarchy and violence. The integrity of our electoral process which is already being questioned will further deteriorate as the attacks are intended to create an atmosphere of fear and apathy among electorates.
While we encourage government to champion initiatives that will restore the confidence of the people in the electoral process, we call on the citizen to support security process that will guarantee a safe environment for free, fair and credible elections.
The recent attacks on INEC facilities are calculated attempts to jeopardize the conduct of the 2023 general elections, and indeed, the forthcoming poll in Anambra state; we therefore strongly call on the government at all levels to immediately strengthen security around essential infrastructures, while finding a lasting solution to the general insecurity situation in the country.