We Will No Longer Tolerate Violence During Elections, INEC Ask Security Agencies To Do This…

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The Independent National Electoral Commission () has announced that issues of violence during elections will no longer be tolerated.

Remember that the Ekiti East constituency bye-election was suspended on Saturday by the electoral body due to violence in various polling units across the LGA.

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Festus Okoye, the ’s national commissioner, informed NAN on Sunday that the decision to suspend the bye-election was made to protect the dignity of the process.

“These steps are important to protect election integrity, as well as the lives and protection of voters, election officials, and security personnel on election duty,” Okoye said.

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“Electoral banditry aimed at discrediting the electoral process and retuning predetermined results would never be tolerated by .

“Caving in to the pressure of organized, orchestrated, and mindless brutality would result in and amount to a surrender of the people’s sovereign democratic rights to free and fair elections, as well as anti-democratic forces’ suzerainty.”

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Prior to the Aba North/South federal constituency election in Abia state, he urged security agencies to take effective steps to counter possible threats.

The Abia election is set for March 27, while the Delta bye-election in Isoko North is set for April 10.

“As the commission prepares for the two by-elections, we advise the security agencies to conduct extensive security clearance operations in the two constituencies and neutralize possible threats to the conduct of free and fair elections in the constituencies,” Okoye said.

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“In the face of a manufactured environment of terror, anxiety, and intimidation, the commission will not risk or mortgage the lives of any official on election duty, as well as the lives of voters.

“For the commission to continue with any election in the face of blatant violence that has undermined the legitimacy of an election will be unconscionable and a dereliction of its electoral duty.

“Because the commission cannot engage in an endless conduct of elections due to the actions of merchants of violence and electoral robbers, the commission cannot engage in long-term preparation, resources, and mobilization for the organization and conduct of elections.

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“It is critical that the commission complete the expansion of voter access to polling units, as this will reflect the true meaning of the vote and make voting more convenient for Nigerians.”

The commissioner announced that the electoral body would restart the continuous voter registration process as soon as possible, capturing those who have reached the age of 18.

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