The Federal Government on Tuesday reacted to reports of the likely cancellation or postponement of the 2023 general elections in the country.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, spoke on Tuesday on the development in Abuja.
He spoke at the 17th edition of: “President Muhammadu Buhari (PMB) Administration Scorecard Series (2015-2023).”
Mohammed was reacting to a widely-circulated report credited to the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Prof. Mahmoud Yakubu, that the 2023 general elections face a serious threat of cancellation due to insecurity.
The INEC Chairman, who spoke at the validation of election security training resources held in Abuja on Monday, noted that the forthcoming election faces serious threat of cancellation should the insecurity across the country fail to improve.
Yakubu, represented by the Chairman, Board of Electoral Institute, Abdullahi Zuru, explained: “If the insecurity is not monitored and dealt with decisively, it could ultimately culminate in the cancellation and/or postponement of elections in sufficient constituencies to hinder declaration of election results and precipitate constitutional crisis.”
The commission, however, assured Nigerians that it would not leave anything to chance in ensuring that intensive and extensive security are provided for election personnel, materials and processes.
Mahmood said: “We all appreciate the fact that election security is vital to democratic consolidation through provision of enabling environment for the conduct of free, fair, credible and inclusive elections and thus strengthening the electoral process.
“Consequently, in preparations for the 2023 general elections, the commission is not leaving anything to chance in ensuring that intensive and extensive security is provided for election personnel, materials and processes.
“This is particularly significant to the commission given the current insecurity challenges in various parts of the country and the fact that the National Youth Service Corps members constitute the core of the polling unit election officials.
“This must not be allowed to happen and shall not be allowed to happen.
“Therefore, security personnel in particular and all election officials, in general, must be security conscious and alert to unusual activities in their environment and must be fully equipped to deal with any challenge at all times.”
But reacting on Tuesday, Mohammed said there is no cause for alarm over the reports, which he termed fake, as all hands are on deck to ensure peaceful and credible conduct of the polls.
He said: “The position of the Federal Government remains that the 2023 elections will be held as planned.
“Nothing has happened to change that position.
“We are aware that INEC is working with the security agencies to ensure that the elections are successfully held across the country.
“The security agencies have also continued to assure Nigerians that they are working tirelessly to ensure that the elections are held in a peaceful atmosphere.”
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