The Chairman of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, says a secure environment is a major factor to free, fair and credible elections.
Prof. Yakubu said this yesterday in Abuja while declaring open a three-day Elections Security Personnel Training of Trainers Workshop for INEC State Training Officers (STOs) ahead of 2019.
The INEC chairman was represented by the commission’s national commissioner, Dr. Mustapha Lecky, who also stood in for the chairman of the Board of The Electoral Institute, Prince Solomon Soyebi.
Dr. Lecky, who said security personnel played critical role in delivering secure election, expressed optimism that the atmosphere would be secured to ensure credible polls in 2019 despite security challenges in the country.
He thanked International Foundation for Electoral System for providing technical and financial support for the workshop.
Dr. Lecky said, “Security always remains concern for a massive process like the election which is coming up next year. Without adequate security, you won’t have a peaceful environment for people to exercise their franchise. So, security is sine-qua-non. It is very important. It underscores why we hold the workshop for our state trainers who will go back and engage at different levels with all DPOs and their teams to understand the terms of engagement.
“We know there are challenges in a number of places across the country. We believe the government is doing whatever it can to ensure that it is addressed. INEC is not a security outfit. We can only work with the security agencies to ensure that the right thing is done. Nigeria is a very hopeful country. So, we believe that the atmosphere will be secured for credible elections come 2019,” he said.
The acting Director-General (DG) of The Electoral Institute, Dr. Sa’ad Idris, in his welcome address, said the workshop was important because the STOs would from now on be the sole implementers of the election security training in their respective states.