REMARKS BY THE HONOURABLE CHAIRMAN, INDEPENDENT NATIONAL ELECTORAL COMMISSION (INEC), PROF. MAHMOOD YAKUBU, AT A SPECIAL MEETING OF THE INTER-AGENCY CONSULTATIVE COMMITTEE ON ELECTION SECURITY (ICCES) ON THE ANAMBRA GOVERNORSHIP ELECTION HELD AT THE INEC CONFERENCE ROOM, ABUJA, ON MONDAY 25TH OCTOBER 2021
The NSA and Co-Chair of ICCES
Representative of the Corps Marshal of the FRSC
The Commandant General of the NSCDC
The Representative of the DG, DSS
Representatives of Various Security Organisations
Other members of ICCES
Senior Officials of the Commission
Members of the INEC Press Corps
Ladies and Gentlemen
1. I would like to warmly welcome members of the Inter-Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security (ICCES) to this meeting. As some of you are probably aware, two INEC National Commissioners were sworn-in this afternoon by the President. Let me therefore welcome to the Commission, and introduce to ICCES, Kunle Cornelius Ajayi, a Professor of Political Science at the Ekiti State University and Muhammad Sani Kallah, a retired Professor of Ecology and Range Management at the Ahmadu Bello University Zaria as the new National Commissioners representing the South West and North West geo-political zones respectively. As the new National Commissioners can see, work in INEC begins in earnest. You have joined the Commission on the eve of a major election and your first activity is this ICCES meeting. Next week, we will move to the field in Anambra State. You are welcome to INEC.
2. Members of ICCES may recall that three weeks ago, we held an emergency meeting to review preparations for the Anambra State Governorship election. Since then, so much has been achieved and our preparations for the election have been going on unhindered. However, it is the tradition of ICCES to review preparations on the eve of every off-season Governorship election where the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) and the Commissioner of Police of the State come to brief us on electoral and security preparations as a routine pre-election activity. It is therefore my pleasure to welcome the REC, Dr Nkwachukwu Orji, and Commissioner of Police, Echeng E. Echeng, to this meeting.
3. The 2021 Anambra State Governorship election is holding in the next 12 days on 6th November 2021. Our deployment of non-sensitive materials and training of personnel for the election have virtually been concluded. The Commission has successfully accomplished 12 out of the 14 activities listed in the Timetable and Schedule of Activities for the election released in January this year. The two outstanding activities are the last day of campaign, at midnight on Thursday 4th November 2021 and Election Day which remains Saturday 6th November 2021. The REC for Anambra State is here to fully provide an update on the implementation of other activities and INEC’s general state of readiness for the election.
4. INEC is determined to proceed with the Anambra State Governorship election as scheduled. The safety and protection of voters, our personnel, accredited observers, the media and materials are cardinal considerations in any election. We have been assured by the security agencies of a secure environment for the election. I am sure the CP Anambra State in his briefing, will provide more details regarding preparations on the ground. I wish to place on record the continued support of security agencies to the Commission during elections. Particularly noteworthy is the high level of professional conduct of the agencies in the last two major elections in Edo and Ondo States. Indeed, Edo and Ondo have become the standard for securing elections in Nigeria. The professionalism and neutrality exhibited by the security agencies in the two elections have been widely praised nationally and internationally. We are confident that this will be replicated in Anambra State.
5. I wish to register the profound gratitude of the Commission for the support we have received from religious, traditional and community leaders for peaceful elections. The Commission is also working with the National Peace Committee under the leadership of our respected former Head of State, General Abdulsalami Abubakar GCFR, to bring all political parties and candidates for the Anambra State Governorship election to commit to peace before, during and after the elections. We appreciate this wide-ranging support and I wish to reassure the registered voters in Anambra State that the choice of the next Governor lies in their hands. I urge all and sundry to play their part in ensuring a free, fair, credible and peaceful Governorship election in Anambra State.
6. I thank you all and God bless.