The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed on Tuesday said the 2023 elections will be held as planned.
Mohammed said this in Abuja at the 17th edition of the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.) scorecard series from 2015-2023.
The minister’s assurance came in the wake of killings allegedly perpetrated by the Eastern Security Network, the militant arm of the outlawed Indigenous People of Biafra and banditry in the North-West.
According to the Independent National Electoral Commission, over 41 attacks had been carried out against its offices across 14 states since the 2019 general election, with the South-East recording 13 attacks.
The attacks which started in Abia on May 9, 2021, spread to Enugu and Ebonyi, with three incidents each; Imo, with two attacks; Anambra and Abia with one each and in Bayelsa and Akwa Ibom states.
Also, INEC on Monday raised the alarm over the rising security situation across the country and its impact on the 2023 general elections.
The INEC Chairman, Mahmood Yakubu, who spoke at the validation of election security training resources in Abuja noted that the forthcoming election faces serious threat of cancellation should the insecurity across the country fail to improve.
Yakubu, represented by the Chairman, Board of Electoral Institute, Abdullahi Zuru, explained that “if the insecurity is not monitored and dealt with decisively, it could ultimately culminate in the cancellation and/or postponement of elections in sufficient constituencies to hinder declaration of election results and precipitate constitutional crisis.
Mohammed, however, said the Federal Government is aware that INEC is working with the security agencies to ensure that the elections are successfully held across the country.
He said, “Let me use this opportunity to respond to inquiries from the media over a widely-circulated report, credited to an INEC official that the 2023 general elections face a serious threat of cancellation due to insecurity.
“The position of the Federal Government remains that the 2023 elections will be held as planned. Nothing has happened to change that position. We are aware that INEC is working wth the security agencies to ensure that the elections are successfully held across the country.
“The security agencies have also continued to assure Nigerians that they are working tirelessly to ensure that the elections are held in a peaceful atmosphere. Therefore, there is no cause for alarm.”