The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has raised an alarm about the November 11 governorship elections in Imo, Kogi and Bayelsa states being threatened by insecurity.
Speaking during a press conference on Wednesday, September 27, in Owerri, Imo state's capital, INEC's National Commissioner Mohammed Haruna asked political “actors" and other stakeholders like security operatives and the media to work for peace ahead of the polls.
Haruna also said that there is need for the government to bring down the level of insecurity to guarantee free and credible elections. He also said that the insecurity in Imo and Kog had resulted in a situation where residents are scared of applying as ad hoc staff for the election in the states.
He said; “We have gone so far with our preparedness for the off-cycle elections in Imo, Kogi and Bayelsa states.
“But the commission is truly worried about the growing level of insecurity and violence in Kogi and Imo states. This is unacceptable, unnecessary and not healthy for our democracy.
“Campaigns in Kogi State have been violent and this is most unfortunate. Our political gladiators and indeed, all citizens, must work towards ensuring free, fair and credible elections.
“It stands to reason that if this situation is allowed to continue, there is the likelihood that people will be afraid to come out to vote, on the election day.
“Already, INEC is having a shortfall in the number of ad-hoc staff needed to superintend over the forthcoming elections. This is because most people expected to work are afraid of their safety.
“It is very important that peace prevails otherwise voters will not come out to vote. I appeal to all actors to observe peace because at the end of the day, if there is no peace, there will be no free, fair and credible election.”