2023 general elections may be sabotaged, Femi Falana warns

Femi Falana, human rights lawyer, has warned that the 2023 elections might be sabotaged by “anti-democratic forces” if security agencies fail to put an end to the continuous attacks on the facilities of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

Mr Falana, who spoke in a statement titled ‘Halt official sabotage of 2023 general elections’, said that the violent attacks being carried out by suspected arsonists posed serious security threats to next year’s election.

“Unless the security forces are prepared to deal with the anti-democratic forces that are currently disrupting the democratic process the 2023 general elections may be sabotaged to the detriment of democracy and political stability in the country,” he said in the statement obtained by Peoples Gazette.

In preparation for the general elections, regional offices of INEC have come under attacks, especially in Imo, Osun, Ogun, Enugu, Akwa-Ibom and Anambra among others.

Properties and election materials worth millions of naira had been destroyed at the facilities with the brutal attacks orchestrated by suspected arsonists.

However, the electoral body has said the attacks at its facilities would not stop the commission from conducting a free, fair and transparent election next year.

Positing further, Mr Falana condemned the continuous attacks on INEC offices in the country, noting that it’s becoming a dangerous trend.

He expressed worry about how the attackers perpetrating the crime on the INEC facilities operate without any challenge from the security forces.

“In spite of the fact that the facilities (INEC) are said to be well guarded, the criminal elements involved in the nefarious activities generally operate without any challenge from security forces.

“If the dangerous trend continues on a larger scale, INEC will not be in a position to conduct elections in the affected areas. It is, therefore, curious to note that the few suspected arsonists have not been charged before any court,” Mr Falana added.

INEC has fixed February and March for the 2023 presidential and general election with no less than 18 political parties already fielded candidates for the exercise.

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