The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), has identified flashpoint in Bayelsa and Kogi states ahead of the November 16 governorship elections.
The INEC chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, revealed that an internal risk assessment has been conducted on the two states which he termed ‘politically volatile’ and concerns are mounting over mobilisation of thugs to disrupt the elections in the states.
“There are already waning signals in the two states, both are politically volatile.
“Elections have been severally disrupted in the past by violence; our own risk assessment has identified some flashpoints.
“We are also concerned that thugs have been mobilised from within and outside the state with the aim of either influencing the elections or disrupting the process on behalf of partisan sponsors,” he stated.
He called on the security agencies, particularly the police, to provide robust security because if there are any cases of violence or disruption in the election, Nigerians will hold both INEC and the police accountable.
“This calls for a robust response before the elections, on election day, and during the process of collation and declaration of results.
“Nigerians expect that by now we have learnt a lot of lessons from previous elections to ensure a swift security response to the increasing desperation by political actors to disrupt election and subvert the will of the electorate. If that happens, many Nigerians will blame the electoral umpire and security agencies. We must continue to rise to these challenges.
Prof Yakubu noted that the INEC is committed to the integrity of the process, and over the last seven months; the electoral umpire has been working assiduously to ensure that credible elections are conducted.