Nigeria's electoral body concerned over security situation ahead of February vote

With less than 10 months remaining until Nigeria holds its general elections, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has expressed concern over the security situation in the country and its impact on the electoral process.

The West African nation is scheduled to hold the elections on February 25, but continues to be dogged with insecurity, especially in the northeastern region.

"The general security situation in the country and its impact on the electoral process is a source of concern to the Commission," said INEC's chairperson, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu.

"The timetable for the election has also been released. Let us not wait until a few weeks to the election before we realize that time is not on our side and begin to seek for extension of timelines. The time to act is now," he added.

Prof. Yakubu noted that the Commission was engaging security agencies to ensure the electors process continues without any hitches.

He said Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs) have been tasked to provide data on areas of security challenges and citizens living in Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camps in their respective states.

INEC will then use the data as a basis for further engagement with security agencies and for determining the best ways to provide electoral services to citizens.

The February elections will determine who replaces President Muhammadu Buhari as Nigeria's Head of State.

Various candidates have expressed interest to succeed the 79-year-old, including Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, the runner up in the 2019 elections Atiku Abubakar, former Senate President Bukola Saraki, Peter Obi, Mohammed Hayatu-Deen, Sam Ohabunwa, Pius Ayim, Ayo Fayose, among others.

Top government officials hoping to seek elective positions in the upcoming elections have until Monday, May 16, 2022, to resign from their posts.

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