Nigeria’s Election Chief, Mahmood Yakubu, says next month’s general election risks being cancelled or postponed due to rising insecurity in the country.
Mr Yakubu stated that if not dealt with, insecurity could hinder the declaration of election results and precipitate a constitutional crisis.
Local media say 15 States are likely to experience violence before, during and after the elections. Fixing insecurity is one of the key issues in the presidential campaign.
More than 90 million Nigerians have registered to vote in the 25th February election. Five States in the southeast, where a separatist group is agitating for a breakaway country, and four States in the north-western region, where armed gangs known as “bandits” are active, are among those listed as areas of concern.
The northeast region is also of concern. It is there that the militant Islamist group Boko Haram and an I.S.-linked affiliate, continue to carry out deadly attacks with devastating consequences. In central Nigeria, clashes between herdsmen and farmers remain a big threat.
The country’s commercial hub Lagos in the southwest was also named as another area likely to witness election-related violence.
In a sign that the problem of insecurity is spreading, over the weekend, gunmen kidnapped 32 people at a train station in the southern Edo State.
Despite problems surrounding previous elections, the vote has never been cancelled since democracy was restored in 1999.