The Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC) and Transparency International (TI) have said that the forthcoming General Elections would be largely successful, if the security agencies to be deployed maintained strict professionalism.
The Executive Director, CISLAC, Auwal Musa Rafsanjani, said this yesterday in Abuja at the
Public launch of the preliminary findings of “Involvement of Nigerian Security Services in the Electoral Process: Guardian or Threat to Democracy?”
“I must express unreserved worry over the unhealthy role security agencies have played in recent past as it affects elections since the return to democracy in 1999. While it is important to note that the roles of security agencies are essential in the process of election, the abusive deployment of security personnel to intimidate perceived oppositions gives a perception of insecurity,” Rafsanjani said.
He urged the security agencies to diligently carry out their duties without fear or favour.
The Security and Defence Programme Manager of CISLAC, Mr. Salaudeen Hashim, who presented the report disclosed how security agencies have become active participants and manipulate the electoral process.
“The report also shows how security agencies have also participated in snatching ballot boxes and, of course, supporting politician to engage in some kinds of unorthodox practices. The trend is worrisome and it is expected that something would be done to arrest the situation before it becomes a little of more concern to the international community,” Hashim said.
The report recalled the case of Ekiti State in 2014, where security agencies became active participants and actually manipulated the process and nothing was done about it.
It also revealed the risk of the involvement of security agencies in the electoral process including weakening the efficacy of the police, downgrading the military, in particular, to a police force, for a job they are not trained to perform.