Politics

INEC speaks on riots affecting 2023 election

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has said it was positive that the challenges bedeviling the country would not discourage registered voters from exercising their franchise on Saturday, 25th of February 2023.

POLITICS NIGERIA reports that rioters have attacked bank Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) and blocked roads in Nigerian cities as anger spilled on the streets over a scarcity of cash, just days before the country’s general election.

Nigeria has been struggling with a shortage in physical cash since the central bank began to swap old bills of the naira currency for new ones, leading to a shortfall in banknotes.

Asked by Punch if the ongoing riots fuelled by cash scarcity might affect the voters’ turnout on election days, INEC National Commissioner and Chairman of its Committee on Information and Voter Education, Festus Okoye, replied: “The question of maintaining law and order is outside the remit of the Independent National Electoral Commission. Section 215(3) of the Constitution gives the Nigerian Police Force the responsibility of maintaining and securing of public safety and public order.

“The commission does not have its own security arm and cannot deploy security operatives to the streets.

“The commission has done its best to boost voters’ confidence in the electoral process. The commission converted voting points and voting point settlements into full-fledged polling units and took some closer to the voters.

“The commission keeps improving with every election. Nigerians are looking forward to the 2023 elections and they are ready to exercise their franchise.

“We are hopeful that the difficulties the nation is experiencing will not deter legally registered voters from showing up on election day.”

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