INEC Seeks New Approach To Deployment Of Security
Chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, on yesterday called for a new approach to the deployment of security personnel for the 2019 general election.
INEC boss Yakubu made the call at the quarterly consultative meeting of the Inter-Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security (ICCES). He said that learning from the experience of some of the 195 off-season elections conducted since 2015, it had become pertinent to draw attention to the need for a different approach to the deployment of security forces during elections.
“The Nigeria Police Force remains the lead agency for election security. Other security agencies will play a supportive role to the Nigeria Police. However, we need a new security architecture for 2019 consistent with the provision of Section 29 (3) of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended) which provides as follows:
“29 (3) Notwithstanding the provisions of any other law and for purposes of securing the vote, the Commission shall be responsible for requesting for the deployment of relevant security personnel necessary for elections or registration of voters and shall assign them in a manner to be determined by the Commission in consultation with the relevant security agencies.
He said that the meeting would discuss modalities for actualising the provision of the law, adding that INEC was committed to ensuring that elections were organised in a manner that security agencies “are not perceived to be running parallel arrangement with INEC.
Rather, it should strictly be INEC’s plan for the election that should be implemented’’. Yakubu further said that the meeting was convened primarily to update members of ICCES on INEC’s preparations for the 2019 General Elections.
He expressed appreciation for the collaboration between security agencies, saying that it facilitated the smooth conduct of the Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) over a period of 16 months – April 27, 2017 to Aug. 31, 2018, when it was suspended.
Yakubu disclosed that the exercise would start again immediately after the general elections.
Maj.-Gen. Mohammed Monguno, the National Security Adviser (NSA) to the President, represented by Mr Idowu Owohunwa assured the commission of his office readiness to provide the requisite leadership and the coordination for the security agencies in ensuring a credible electoral process.