A former residential electoral commissioner of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Mike Igini, says beyond the physical attack on the commission’s facilities, the ad-hoc staff system for the 2023 general elections will be attacked.
The former REC stated this on Wednesday during a chat on Arise TV regarding the challenges facing INEC ahead of the 2023 elections.
There have been reports of attacks on INEC offices in some states, where hoodlums set the facilities on fire, burning thousands of Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs).
Igini said while the burnt PVCs would be reprinted by the commission, the security challenge posed by the attacks must be taken seriously.
He said, “We must look at what’s responsible for these attacks. Why are they attacking INEC offices? What has INEC done? My concern, which is my area of interest and vocation as I’ve promised to always educate Nigerians, is that: Nigerians, don’t be discouraged. These PVCs that have been burnt, INEC is going to reproduce them. They will be available before the election.
“But going forward, I think that communities also have a responsibility. One of the things that have failed our security system is what is called lack of investment in the area of intelligence. There’s intelligence collapse.
“We need to have a situation where the intelligence arm of the police is in places mixing up with people and all of that. Security in modern time has to do with information. There’s total collapse of intelligence in the security agencies of this country. And it’s sad that we are going to 2023 while this continues to happen.”
He further stated that the attacks would likely continue up to the recruitment processes for the ad-hoc INEC staff for the coming election.
“That’s why my message to the Nigerian people is that: Keep your eyes open. You will hear all kinds of things. It’s not our wish, but I know it’s going to happen. Even though we must do everything to prevent it, as we move forward, you’re going to see more attacks.
“In fact, you’re hearing about physical attacks now. As we move forward to 2023, they are going to attack the INEC adhoc staff system. They are going to put massive effort to infiltrate the rank and file of the ad-hoc recruitment process. That’s going to happen, but it’s for the commission to stand very strong and firm to put out guidelines to deal with that,” he added.