INEC chairman condemns security deployment in 2019 polls elections

INEC Chairman, Mahmood Yakubu
INEC Chairman, Mahmood Yakubu

The Chairman of INEC, Mahmood Yakubu, has expressed concern over security deployment in some of the most recent elections.

Mr Yakubu spoke at the expanded meeting of Inter-Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security (ICCES) on Friday in Abuja.

Apart from the 2019 general elections, governorship polls were held in Kogi and Bayelsa States on November 16 last year.

Mr Yakubu said at the meeting attended by the National Security Adviser Babagana Monguno, and the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, that security deployment in some of the elections left much to be desired.

He said there was more emphasis on numbers of security personnel to be deployed.

He said less consideration on strategic deployment to protect the process, leaving the voters, election officials, party agents, observers, the media and even unarmed security personnel at polling units vulnerable to attacks by thugs and hoodlums.

“Furthermore, there is emphasis on numbers of security personnel but less on synergy, coordination and collaboration among the various security agencies in line with the purpose for which ICCES was established in the first instance.

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“We must adopt a different approach to election security. We must translate the new approach to reality in the forthcoming re-run elections such that Nigerians will see a qualitatively different security arrangement.

“No thugs and hoodlums can be more powerful than the Nigerian Police Force and other security agencies.

“It is the failure to act decisively and collaboratively that encourages thuggery and serves as an incentive for bad behaviour,’’ he said.

Mr Yakubu disclosed that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) were now members of ICCES to curb vote buying.

He recalled that the recommendation for their inclusion was made in the last ICCES meeting.

“We expressed concern about the dimension that illegal deployment of financial resources to influence the outcome of elections, including vote-buying at polling units on Election Day, has assumed.

“The meeting, recognising the existing collaboration with the anti-corruption agencies in tracking financial flows for illicit purposes as well as the arrest and prosecution of perpetrators of such flows.

“This is especially for the purpose of corrupting the electoral process through vote-buying, resolved that EFCC and ICPC should be included as members of ICCES.

Mr Yakubu also expressed the commission’s readiness for the re-run elections to be held on January 25 in 28 constituencies across 11 states in compliance with the orders of Election Petition Tribunals.

(NAN)


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