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Elections: We are committed to the safety and security of citizens – DSS

THE Department of State Services (DSS) has revealed that there are “orchestrated plans” by some individuals to cause a massive collapse of law and order and disrupt upcoming elections in parts of the Federation.

In a statement issued yesterday, DSS spokesperson Peter Afunanya cautioned individuals or groups, no matter how highly placed to abandon such plots.

As a result, the secret agency warned political figures to be law-abiding as Nigerians go to the polls for gubernatorial and state assembly elections.

The DSS stated that it is dedicated to the protection and security of citizens who seek to execute their civic duties.

According to him, the Commission convened to review the impact of the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal’s verdict on the reconfiguration of the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) utilized for the February 25 presidential election on its preparations for the governorship election.

The Commission has taken the difficult but necessary decision to reschedule the Governorship and State Assembly elections which will now take place on Saturday 18th March 2023,” he said.

Political parties, according to Okoye, will continue their campaigns until midnight on Thursday, March 16, 2023 – 24 hours before the new election date.

Okoye stated that though the tribunal’s ruling would enable INEC to commence the preparation of the BVAS for the governorship and state assembly elections, it is too late for the reconfiguration to be concluded.

“This decision has not been taken lightly but it is necessary to ensure that there is adequate time to back up the data stored on the over 176,000 BVAS machines from the presidential and National Assembly elections held on 25th February 2023 and then to reconfigure them for the Governorship and State Assembly elections. This has been the practice for all elections, including the period when the Commission was using Smart Card Readers.

“However, we wish to reiterate that the Commission is not against litigants inspecting election materials. Consequently, it will continue to grant all litigants access to the materials they require to pursue their cases in court,” he added.

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