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Allow private security outfits to monitor elections – NGO urges FG

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Allow private security outfits to monitor elections – NGO urges FG
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The African Law Foundation (AfriLaw), a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), has called on the Federal Government to allow private security outfits in election monitoring.

The Chief Executive Officer of the foundation, Mr Okereke Chinwike, made the call at a National Stakeholders’ Forum for Private Security in Abuja on Wednesday.

The forum, with the theme, “Private Security Service and 2023

Election in Nigeria”, was organised by AfriLaw in partnership with Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps(NSCDC) and other stakeholders.

Chinwike said private security was critical to ensuring the protection of lives and property.

”Their participation in election would go a long way in tackling security challenges. Some of the security challenges include violent demonstrations, theft of electoral supplies, targeted attacks on leaders among others.

“The Private security industry is the largest single security sector in Nigeria and in Africa.

“So, Nigeria cannot afford to leave them behind in active engagement in election security in Nigeria.

“Some of the roles of private security in election include provision of security in government installations, political party premises and homes of political actors.

“They also complement formal security in crowd control during rallies and other political meetings.

“They equally provide frontline security response in the streets, estate and communities as well as intelligence among others,”he said.

Also speaking, Mr Ferdinand Isiegwu, Head of Private Guard Companies Department in NSCDC, said “regular security has few personnel when it comes to coverage of election.”

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Isiegbu, an Assistant Commandant-General of NSCDC represented the NSCDC Commandant-General, Ahmed Audi at the forum.

He said in view of the need to adequately protect lives and property, it was necessary for private security to be co-opted to assist during elections.

According to him, private security outfits often are made to participate in processes where their services were required in advanced climes.

“We expect that Nigeria tows the line of other countries where anyone who is involved in security can play a part one way or the other for free, fair and credible elections,”he said.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that one of the paper presentations at the forum centred on the roles and importance of private security in the electoral process in Nigeria.

Dr Onyeama Emmanuel, Executive Director, Crime Free and Peace Initiative, who gave the presentation, said the role of private security could not be undermined.

Meanwhile, the second presentation, which was on the adoption of the draft resolution for good private security governance during the 2023 elections, was delivered by AfriLaw boss, Chinwike.

 

Source – NAN

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