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Nigeria: Why election may not take place in 2023 — Jega

A former National Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Attahiru Jega, yesterday, raised the alarm that the prevailing security challenges in the country could negatively affect the forthcoming general election in 2023.

Jega, who served as INEC Chairman during the tenure of former President Goodluck Jonathan, gave spoke in Ibadan, Oyo State, while delivering the lead paper at a roundtable with the theme: “Election Security and Good Governance in Nigeria”, to mark the 72nd posthumous birthday of a former Oyo State governor, the late Senator Abiola Ajimobi.

Present at the ceremony were Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, Ajimobi’s wife, Florence Ajimobi, Deputy Governors of Oyo and Osun States, Rauf Olaniyan and Mr. Benedict Alabi, Senator Ayo Adeseun, who represented Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, and the Minister of Youths and Sports, Sunday Dare, among many other dignitaries.

Jega insisted that there was increased apprehension as Nigerians approach the 2023 general election, stating that this could pose a serious danger to the conduct of the 2023 elections.

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The professor of Political Science further noted that to avoid security breaches during future elections, there must be an improvement in the security arrangements in the country.

“We want delivery of goods and services by democratically elected people. As we look forward to 2023, there is an increased apprehension. Security challenges may pose a serious danger to the conduct of 2023 elections. Our good governance must have democratic content,” he said.

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Jega maintained that election security was important in order to have free and credible elections in the country, lamenting that the present crop of politicians behaved as ‘militician’ who were more interested in their selfish interest.

He then called for recruitment of good people into the electoral process in the country, warning that Nigeria was too important to be left for politicians to destroy.

“For credible elections, Nigeria must constantly work to ensure that elections are credible. Voters must be free to elect their candidates, must be free to vote without fear or intimidation. Election security is important in order to ensure that materials are safe. To ensure that the officials are safe.

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Election security is important, because it is critical mechanism for good governance. We need an improved presence of security. All security agencies should be involved. But, we must define roles of each security agencies,” he said.

Osinbajo while delivering his remarks after commissioning the Senator Abiola Ajimobi Resource Centre donated to the Institute of Peace and Strategic Studies, University of Ibadan, by the Senator Abiola Ajimobi Foundation (SAAF), lauded the family for keeping the name of the former governor alive, stating that his indelible marks could not be forgotten in the history of the state.

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