Ahead of the November 16 governorship election in Kogi state, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has called on all security agencies to ensure adequate provision of security before, during and after the election.
INEC’s Chairman, Prof Mahmood Yakubu, made the call in Lokoja on Wednesday while declaring open, a three day training for security personnel for Kogi governorship election, organized by The Electoral Institute (TEI) in collaboration with the European Centre for Electoral Supports (ECES).
Yakubu, who was represented by the INEC’s National Commissioner in charge of Kogi, Kwara and Nasarawa states, Mohammed Kudu Haruna, maintained that security personnel were critical stakeholders in the success of any election.
He specifically urged security personnel that will be taking part in the election to give attention to security of all categories of INEC staff, electoral materials, the voters and the voting environment.
Earlier, Director General of TEI, Dr Sa’ad Umar Idris, in his opening remarks, said adequate security was indispensable to the conduct of credible, free and fair elections, hence, the need to train the security personnel especially as it relates to their professional conducts and observance of human rights while on election duties.
He said the training will among others provide them understanding of key security procedures required to ensure safety of election officials on election duties as well as strategies to be employed in handling various forms of violence and other threats before, during and after the election.
The Commissioner of Police at the INEC Headquarters, Felix Gani, in his address charged all security personnel for the Kogi election to be professional, impartial and polite in the discharge of their duties.
INEC’s Resident Electoral Commissioner in Kogi, Prof James Apam, said insecurity had remained a great challenge in most elections conducted in the state in the past and therefore, appealed for a robust security arrangement in the forthcoming election.
Amongst security organisations attending the training include the police, the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, the Army, the DSS, the Navy, the Nigeria Correctional Service, Immigration, Customs and NDLEA.