The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the Inter-Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security (ICESS) have called on political parties and their members to remain peaceful during and after the coming gubernatorial and state assembly elections scheduled for Saturday.
The second round of the elections earlier scheduled for 11 March was postponed to 18 March due to the inability of INEC to quickly get a court order to allow for the reconfiguration of the Bimodal Voters Accreditation System (BVAS) used for the Presidential and National Assembly elections.
On Tuesday, at a meeting with all security agencies that make up the ICCES, the INEC Chairman, Mahmood Yakubu, noted that Saturdayâ€™s election would be more intense.
Mr Yakubu advised politicians and political parties to advise their agents, members, and supporters â€œto see the elections as a contest and not war,â€ and refrain from acts of violence that may mar the elections or compromise the security of lives and properties.
He said INEC is encouraged by the directive of the Inspector General of Police, Usman Baba, to state police commands to handle all cases of electoral offences expeditiously.
â€œWe look forward to receiving the case files. We will immediately set up a legal team to handle such cases in earnest,â€ he said.
Unlike the first round of the election involving 470 constituencies, he said Saturdayâ€™s election will involve 1,021 constituencies.
He said the election would require more collation centres and need the deployment of more security personnel.
READ ALSO:Â 24 women seeking to be state governors in Saturdays elections
â€œUnlike the last elections involving 470 constituencies (1 Presidential, 109 Senatorial Districts and 360 House of Representatives seats), the State elections will involve 1,021 constituencies (28 Governorship and 993 State Assembly seats),â€ he said.
â€œThe Governorship elections will hold in 28 States of the Federation.â€ Governorship elections in eight states â€“Anambra, Bayelsa, Edo, Ekiti, Imo, Kogi, Ondo and Osun statesâ€“ are held off-cycle and therefore not conducted during the General Election, he added.