THE Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has again maintained that security challenge across states in the country remained real threat to the conduct of forthcoming general election. National Commissioner and Chairman of the Board of the Electoral Institute, Professor Abdullahi Zuru made the declaration, on Monday, in Abuja at a two-day Validation Workshop of Election Security Training Resources. The chairman of the com-mission, Professor Mahmood Yakubu was represented by Zuru at the workshop. Yakubu said that election security was significant to the commission given the current insecurity chalenges in various parts of the country and the fact that the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) members constituted the core of the Polling Unit election officials.
Mahmood said: “We all appreciate the fact that election security is vital to democratic consolidation through provision of enabling environment for the conduct of free, fair, credible and inclusive elections and thus strengthening the electoral process. “Consequently, in preparations for the 2023 general election, the commission is not leaving anything to chance in ensuring that intensive and extensive security are provided for election personnel, materials and processes.
“This is particularly significant to the commission given the current insecurity challenges in various parts of the country and the fact that the National Youth Service Corps members constitute the core of the polling unit election officials. “This must not be allowed to happen and shall not be allowed to happen. “Therefore, security personnel in particular and all election officials, in general, must be security conscious and alert to unusual activities in their environment and must be fully equipped to deal with any challenge at all times.
“To this end, the National Security Adviser, General Mohammed Babagana Monguno (retd.) and the Chairman, INEC have jointly assured the nation that conducive environment will be provided for successful conduct of the 2023 general Election. “Similarly, the Inspector General of Police, Usman Baba, has conducted Election Security Management Workshops across the six geopolitical zones. “On its part the Commission, through The Electoral Institute, has institutionalised the development and implementation of a cascaded training mechanism for security personnel as a critical component of its training plan.’’
The workshop was a follow up to earlier workshops held last year in Nasarawa and Kano States. INEC facilities have been the target of arsonists’ attacks in recent time. Yakubu said the security training was part of proactive measures to forestall security threats, which he noted, could lead to cancellation and (or) postponement of elections in constituencies. He recalled that a similar workshop was conducted before the Osun and Ekiti governorship elections which he noted ensured “progressive and commendable” improvement in the security atmosphere and conduct of personnel during the elections.
Director-General of The Electoral Institute, Dr Sa’ad Umar Idris said the Election Security Training Documents will play a very critical role in the effective training of security personnel in securing the electoral environment for free, fair, credible and inclusive elections.