Insecurity: Nothing Should Stop 2023 Election – IPAC

Alhaji Yabagi Sani, chairman of the Inter Party Advisory Council (IPAC) has warned that nothing, not even the deteriorating security situation in some parts of the country should be advanced as grounds to cancel or postpone the February 25 and March 11 national and state elections.

Alhaji spoke against the backdrop of the spate of attacks on facilities of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the recent comment of a director of the Commission, suggesting a possible cancellation should the security challenges continue.

Although the electoral body has distanced itself from the position of its staff, many Nigerians remain apprehensive, fearing that the comment may not inadvertent.

Alhaji Sani said he was particularly worried by the comment of the British Government a few weeks ago to the effect that a smooth election in the country must follow the resolution of security challenges.

The IPAC chairman said such was a direct interference in the nation’s internal affairs and pregnant with meanings.

He said Nigeria is not the first nor will it be the last where elections went ahead and were successfully concluded despite pockets of security problems here and there.

He cited Pakistan and Syrian and sundry jurisdictions where elections were conducted amid security challenges.

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As chairman of IPAC, my concern is the statement issued by the British Government a few weeks ago that to have a smooth election in Nigeria, security challenges must be resolved.

To me, that was a pregnant statement. I don’t want a situation where external bodies would be teleguiding us or will be pushing a disruptive agenda like that because whatever affects this election will affect the entire continent.

I don’t know why the British government would come out with a statement like that around this point in time” he stated.

He wondered why the former colonial masters are not talking about how they will assist Nigeria to tackle any security challenges that may stop the elections. Why should the election not take place until after it is resolved?

Asked if the threat to the coming election cannot be traced to the elements seeking a government of national unity, he said such agitation has been a long-standing one

“This is not the first time people are calling for the government of national unity or confederation, it’s not also the first time we have insecurity before an election, though not at the scale we have it now.

But what is important is that in the most terrorized countries, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Syria, election took place, despite the bombs, elections are sacrosanct for nationhood”.

He emphasized that despite the security changes nothing should stop the coming elections stating categorically that the security challenges are artificial since they could not be traced to anything concrete.

They are artificial, being promoted by those who have their own agenda different from that of the nation. So as far as we are concerned as IPAC we do not support the idea of postponing this election.

Many leaders in the South East part of the country have come out to say that the worsening security situation in the zone is being sponsored from outside, citing the recent Herders attack in Ehamufu, Enugu State.

To this the IPAC chairman stresses Nigeria do have “not too good friends”, adding that many nations see the potential of the country and what it would mean for global dominance, and so would rather it stays a sleeping giant.

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