The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Wednesday, announced February 18, 2023 as the date of the presidential election.
Mixed reactions followed the announcement with the national chairman of PDP, Uche Secondus, expressing fear that the elections may not hold unless government nips the rising cases of insecurity across the country.
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Other Nigerians, disturbed by the continuing killings of defenceless Nigerians have also shared same fears.
Prior to 2015 general elections, the country’s insecurity was limited to Boko Haram insurgency strongholds in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states.
After the election of President Muhammadu Buhari, the war against Boko Haram was intensified leading to technical defeat of the terror group.
However, recently we are witnessing a rise in banditry in Zamfara, Katsina, Sokoto and Kaduna states. The North Central states are also battling with farmers/herdsmen crises.
Our security personnel have increasingly become the targets of Eastern Security Network (ESN). There are daily horrific trending news from the states in the South East where police and other men in uniform are being killed.
With this alarming rate of insecurity pervading the country and the government perceived inaction towards addressing it, one is bound to believe that it would be difficult to hold hitch-free elections.
We know that election can only be conducted in an atmosphere devoid of rancour. We are not sure if Boko Haram, bandits, kidnappers and other non-state actors will allow a peaceful election in the country.
There is also the fear that our politicians may likely exploit the current mess to intimidate their opponents.
If the 2023 elections are to be conducted successfullythe government should quickly move in to contain the rising cases of insecurity in the country.
There is the need for government to look for international assistance in the war against insecurity in the country. Let truth be told, insecurity is threatening the 2023 elections. Unless government addresses it, Nigerians should forget about the elections.
Ibrahim Mustapha, Pambegua, Kaduna State