The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, yesterday, rebuffed entreaties to postpone next month’s round of elections, saying it was financially and mentally set for the polls.
The commission, nevertheless, affirmed that the go-ahead for elections in the troubled Northeast would be given by security agencies. Also yesterday, the Inspector General of Police, Sulieman Abba, vowed to deal with errant politicians who heat up the polity through negative utterances, saying he would show to them that no one could be above the law.
The assertions at a workshop for the training of security agencies ahead of the general elections came as INEC said the conduct of election in the troubled Northeast would be determined by the counsel of security agencies. Chairman, INEC Electoral Training Institute, Dr Ishmaeal Igbani, who spoke on behalf of the commission in giving the readiness of the commission for the polls said the commission was comfortable with the fund it has at its disposal at the moment.
He said: “Anytime there is election in Nigeria, there is always some form of tension. I have been around for a while and I don’t think it is something new. I don’t think people should be afraid. But it is also essential that we get ready just in case.” Lagos pastor, Tunde Bakare had last Sunday called for the postponement of the elections for the purpose of allowing tension among political gladiators to ebb. According to him, “it is also very important that we have peaceful elections, it is also important that voters come out to vote without fear. It is also important that the personnel who will work for us and the environment itself is peaceful and for it to be peaceful, it is important for the security agencies to be alert and ensure that they do what they are supposed to do.”
He said a minimum of 50 personnel were being trained, adding: “We call this cascade training. After this training of trainers who will now go to their various security organisations to train others and so forth which will go down the line in that way. More will be trained in a more cheaper way.“