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INEC worried poverty, illiteracy, unemployment affecting democracy in Nigeria

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Paucity of funds may affect conduct of Bayelsa, Kogi polls - INEC

Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, on Tuesday expressed concern over the level at which participatory democracy had been haunted by illiteracy, poverty and unemployment in the country.

INEC’s Chief Administration Officer, Mr. Tony Ezenmo spoke during the Zonal Training for Electoral Security Personnel for Kogi 2019 Governorship Election.

He also expressed worry that electoral activities in the country have now become more competitive due to strong oppositions and improved integrity of the electoral process.

“The implication of this is that the culture of election is beginning to take root in the country, as we saw in the victory of the opposition in the 2015 Presidential Election and the acceptance of defeat by an incumbent president. Sometimes, the challenge of electoral insecurity comes largely from undue exploitation of ethnic, religious and communal differences by the political elite. Political elites who deliberately exploit existing social cleavages and fault lines for political advantage are often referred to as conflict entrepreneurs”, Ezenmo said.

Read also: ‘Backyard economists’ who can’t run small businesses criticising Nigeria’s borrowings —Fashola

He however, contested that “Security agencies are mandated by law to harness and deploy their human and material resources to provide a conducive environment for all activities of the Election Managers Boards, EMB, political parties, politicians, the electorate and other stakeholders in all phases of the electoral process.

“It is imperative that all security agencies consider the threats and risk factors peculiar to each phase, plan sufficiently and deploy personnel and resources to ensure that all related activities of the electoral process are successful.” INEC says.

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