The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed has assured Nigerians that the 2023 general elections would be conducted as scheduled despite insinuations that the poll would be shifted.
He gave the assurance in Abuja on Tuesday at the 17th edition of Mr Buhari Administration’s Scorecard Series (2015-2023), urging Nigerians not to panic that the elections would be peaceful.
The minister noted that the 2023 elections would be held as planned, stressing that security agencies are ready to provide security throughout the exercise.
“Nothing has happened to change that position. We are aware that INEC is working with security agencies to ensure that the elections are successfully held across the country.
“The security agencies have also continued to assure Nigerians that they are working tirelessly to ensure that the elections are held in a peaceful atmosphere.
Therefore, there is no cause for alarm,” he said.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had announced February 25 and March 12, 2023, for the conduct of the presidential, national assembly, and governorship elections respectively.
But there have been speculations in the last twenty hours that the next month’s election could be canceled or postponed owing to the growing wave of election-related insecurity across the country.
Specifically, the electoral body on Monday said the prevailing security challenge in the country may lead to the “cancellation/or postponement” of the elections.
INEC Chairman, Mahmood Yakubu, who stated this in Abuja, explained that security was vital in conducting a free, fair, and credible election.
“If the insecurity is not monitored and dealt with decisively, it could ultimately culminate in the cancellation and/or postponement of elections in sufficient constituencies to hinder declaration of election results and precipitate constitutional crisis,” Mr Yakubu, represented by the Chairman, Board of Electoral Institute, Abdullahi Zuru, said.
Eighteen political parties have fielded candidates for the presidential election on February 25.