The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has urged security operatives to work with the commission to make the Feb. 12 Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Area Council election another shining example of a peaceful election.
The Chairman of INEC, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, made the appeal on Tuesday in Abuja at the Inter-agency Consultative Committee On Election Security (ICCES) meeting for the FCT election.
Yakubu said that INEC had been evaluating the risk to the election using the Election Violence Mitigation and Advocacy Tool (EVMAT).
He said that the aim waa to identify early warning signals that could assist the security agencies and other stakeholders in devising and deploying appropriate mitigation strategies.
He said that among other areas of concern, the commission focused on threats specific to geographical locations, proliferation of small arms and light weapons, the issue of hard drugs, presence of insurgents and armed groups, intra and inter-party conflicts, and incidents of hate speech.
Yakubu said that in the next few days, INEC would intensify its engagement with stakeholders, particularly with party leaders and candidates, traditional and religious leaders, transport providers, civil society organisations and the media.
“We will work with all stakeholders to ensure that the forthcoming election is peaceful and our processes credible. That is why this meeting is crucial.
“Securing the environment is the foundation for a peaceful, well-organised and credible election.
“That was clearly demonstrated in the peaceful conduct of the recent Anambra State Governorship election.
“Let us make the FCT Area Council election another shining example of a peaceful election,” he urged.
On the Ekiti State governorship election holding on June 18, Yakubu said that 18 political parties notified and invited INEC for their primaries, but the Boot Party (BP) did not hold its primary.
He further disclosed that one party adopted direct method for electing its candidate while 16 parties opted for the indirect method.
“However, from on our field report, the Boot Party (BP) did not hold its primary election at any venue known to, and monitored by, the commission.
“Consequently, we do not expect the party to nominate a candidate for the Ekiti State Governorship election.
“On this note, let me once again warn political parties to strictly adhere to the commission’s timelines for all activities, including the conduct of primaries and nomination of candidates.
“These timelines are firm and fixed. No deviation or violation will be allowed,” Yakubu said.
On his part, the National Security Adviser (NSA) retired Maj.-Gen. Babagana Monguno, who is also the Co-Chairman of ICCES, urged all the security agencies to replicate the professionalism they displayed in Anambra governorship election.
Mongunu, represented by Mr S. G. Tobin, said that FCT election was not known for violence and it had not recorded any violence in the past, hence the forthcoming should be peaceful