The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has called on security agencies to be more visible and expand their surveillance as the Governorship and State House of Assembly elections would see more contestants vying for elective positions.
The INEC said more polling stations have been created which will increase more participation of voters.
At a meeting of the Inter-Agency Consultative Committee On Election Security, in Abuja, Chairman of the Commission, Mahmood Yakubu, the INEC, has made available to the Nigeria Police Force, being the lead agency in election security, the delimitation details for both the Governorship and State Assembly elections, including locations of Polling Units and Collation Centres.
He said on that basis, the Commission expect a coordinated deployment plan in synergy with other security, intelligence, law enforcement and safety agencies.
According to him, “The Governorship and State Assembly elections this weekend involves more constituencies than the national elections held about three weeks ago. Unlike the last elections involving 470 constituencies (1 Presidential, 109 Senatorial Districts and 360 House of Representatives seats), the State elections will involve 1,021 constituencies (28 Governorship and 993 State Assembly seats).
“There will also be more candidates involved and more collation centres to protect. They are also local elections involving keen contests. It is therefore important for parties and candidates to speak to their agents and supporters to see the elections as a contest and not war. They should refrain from acts of violence that may mar the elections or compromise the security of our personnel, observers, the media and service providers.”
Yakubu, said the Commission is encouraged by the directive to State Commands by the Inspector General of Police to handle all cases of electoral offences expeditiously, adding, “We look forward to receiving the case files. We will immediately set up a legal team to handle such cases in earnest.”
He reaffirmed that thenGovernorship elections will hold in 28 States of the Federation, but clarified that Governorship elections in eight States (Anambra, Bayelsa, Edo, Ekiti, Imo, Kogi, Ondo and Osun States) are held off-cycle and therefore not conducted during the General Election. However, elections will be conducted for all the 993 State constituencies nationwide.