AS pockets of electoral violence greet the off-cycle governorship polls in Imo, Kogi, and Bayelsa states, a security expert, Ademola Abbass has suggested that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) should take the blame.
Abass, a professor of International Law and Global Security, stated this while discussing the security challenges undermining the elections on Channel Television on Saturday, November 11, as the polls progressed in the states.
He said whatever happened with Nigeria’s electoral system reflected the country itself, stressing that insecurity during elections must be fixed.
“You need to hold the Police and military accountable. But for me, as far as this election is concerned, we need to hold INEC much more responsible than anybody else.
“INEC is not something we created yesterday. It metamorphosed from different bodies as the NADECO [National Democratic Coalition] day up to what we have today. They must have been learning lessons.”
Abbas stressed that the electoral umpire had to assess how and how it had been conducting elections critically, or it would continue to record chaos.
“Don’t be surprised that in four years, we will come back here and say the same thing – logistical problems, people are hijacking and taking ballot papers, materials are not arriving on time, and other excuses.
“It is high time somebody begins to take responsibility, step back, and look at what we are doing as a nation.
Gunshots in Ikeduru LGA, Imo
Gunshots reportedly have rented air in the early morning in Amaimo Central School, Amaimo ward, Ikeduru local government areas (LGA) of Imo state, as residents trooped out to cast votes in the governorship election.
The incident was said to have occurred around 9:40 a.m. on Saturday, November 11.
According to a report by TheCable, Police officers clashed with party agents at the polling unit.
Voting has since commenced in the state. The ICIR reports heavy security patrol in Owerri, the state capital.
The armed officers are primarily combined forces of the military, para-military, and the Police.
Earlier, The ICIR correspondent covering the election in the state observed patrol vehicles within Owerri municipality and around significant hotels within the popular World Bank road, the Concord Hotel, and the All Season Hotel avenue.
The Nigeria Police Force had deployed 220 operational vehicles and personnel for the off-cycle election security management.
Hope Uzodinma of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Sam Anyanwu of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), and Anthony Nnaji of the Labour Party (LP) are the major contenders for the election in the state
Imo state election holds alongside a similar exercise in Kogi and Bayelsa states.