Chairman of Partners for Electoral Reforms (PER) and National Coordinator of NUD, Ezenwa Nwagwu, told reporters today in Abuja at a conference on “2015 General Elections and Security” that it is important for the federal government to be impartial in the deployment of security agencies for the elections.
He said the organization was concerned about the role security agencies will play in the outcome of the elections, stressing that maintaining neutrality would guarantee safety during and after the polls.
His call follows courts judgements barring the deployment of soldiers for the elections, and the public disagreement between the Inspector General of Police Mr Suleiman Abubakar and chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Prof. Attahiru Jega and other stakeholders on whether voters can stay or go away from poling centres after casting their votes.
“The Nigerians United for Democracy is concerned about the deployment of security agencies during the polls. Reports reaching us indicate that the deployment of police in some states is influenced by partisan considerations. We heard that politicians are already hijacking the deployment of security personnel in some states. We expect that deployment for these elections would be unbiased and we call on the Federal Government to remain impartial,” Nwagwu said.
While calling on the Inspector General of Police, Suleiman Abba to respect the adopted positions by the relevant authorities on the conduct of voters and officials during the elections, he urged all security agencies to respect all provisions of the Electoral Act regarding the conduct of security agents during and after the elections.
On the deployment of the military for the elections, Nwagwu said the NUD support the judgement of a Lagos High Court and other courts’ rulings on the matter, adding that troops should not be deployed on Election Day to the polling stations as enshrined in the relevant sections of the nation’s laws.
He said: “The responsibility of providing security during and after the elections rested with the police and not any other security agency. Deploying the military to polling units was against the provisions of the law and was inimical to the growth of democracy in Nigeria. The military was not Nigeria’s first line of defence and should not be deployed to the polling centres.”
If you are happy to be contacted by a Daily Trust journalist please leave a telephone
number that we can contact you on. In some cases a selection of your comments will
be published, displaying your name as you provide it and location, unless you state
otherwise. Your contact details will never be published. When sending us pictures,
video or eyewitness accounts at no time should you endanger yourself or others,
take any unnecessary risks or infringe any laws. Please ensure you have read the
terms and conditions.