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2023: INEC raises concern over security challenges in North-East, South-East 

Nigeria’s electoral body, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), has expressed worries about the rising security challenges across the country ahead of the 2023 general elections. 

Mahmood Yakubu, chairman of the electoral body, who spoke at the National Endowment for Democracy event in Washington DC in the United States, said the commission was keeping its eyes on the North-West and the southeastern part of the country with the prevailing security challenges. 

“We are keeping our eyes, particularly, on the North-West and the southeastern part of the country. Elections are conducted by human beings. We worried about the security of our officials, materials, and even the voters themselves. Without them, elections cannot be conducted,” Mr Yakubu said at the international event on Tuesday. 

The presidential election would be conducted by February 2023, according to INEC. 

No fewer than fifteen political parties have fielded candidates for the election exercise. 

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Mr Yakubu explained that the electoral body already has its “fingers crossed” with the dimension to the security challenges which was formerly localised to the North-East but now spread to other parts of the country. 

“It is a perennial issue because, at the end of the day, it is not new but the dimension of the insecurity is new in the sense that in the past, it was localised or confined to a particular part of the country  – the North-East but now, it is more widespread,” the INEC chairman said. 

He noted that the electoral body was talking to the various security agencies and had already gotten the assurance that the situation would be improved before the general elections. 

Mr Yakubu, however, disclosed that the permanent voters cards (PVCs) would be made available to eligible voters who had registered by November 2023. 

“About 50% of the new PVCs are ready but yet to be distributed to collection centres,” Mr Yakubu said.

The electoral body had in August projected a voter population of about 95 million for the 2023 general election in the country. 

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