INEC on Monday engaged security agencies on the need to ensure free, fair, and credible July 16 governorship election in Osun.
Speaking at the State Level Electoral Security Training in Osogbo, INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, said elections should be seen as critical mandate and asset that must be protected by security personnel.
Yakubu, represented by the Electoral Commissioner in Osun, Prof. Abdulganiyu Raji, said the training would acquaint security agencies with INEC’s code of conduct and rules of engagement before, during and after the election.
“I believe this training will impact positively on the conduct of Osun election coming up on July 16.
“It will also help security agencies to manage risk elements and have full knowledge of the system.’’ he said.
Yakubu said the training was another significant step forward in the Commission’s stride for a robust electoral system and the deepening of the country’s democratic structure.
According to him, security is crucial to the conduct of elections and the need for security agencies to ensure synergy becomes paramount.
The INEC chairman called for collective responsibilities among security personnel to help to avert any violence that might occur during and after the election.
He said INEC would work with security agencies and other stakeholders to ensure that Osun election is peaceful.
In his remarks, the Director-General of Electoral Institute, Dr Sa’ad Idris, commended INEC for organising the security training which, he said, would help in sensitising stakeholders on the need for credible elections.
Represented by Mr Ifeanyi Agoha, the institute’s Deputy Director of Training, Idris said the operational order which would help to ensure effective deployment had been finalised to forestall any breakdown of law and order during the election.
He said the training would help to diversify knowledge and capacity of security operatives in the discharge of their operational duties at the election.
He appealed to all stakeholders in the election to collaborate with INEC and with security agencies to ensure safety of lives and electoral materials.
Earlier, Police Commissioner in Osun, Mr Wale Olokode, said the police and sister security agencies were ready to ensure the success of the election.
Olokode, represented by ACP Charles Dikwa, said the command had successfully carried out an operational assessment to ensure effective deployment of personnel in the event of violence.
He said the training would further equip security operatives with requisite skills and knowledge to effectively tackle irregularities at the election.
He appealed to all stakeholders to support security personnel to achieve the task of ensuring safety of lives and property at the election.
Olokode added that the police would provide the needed support for all political parties and ensure the safety of their members before, during and after the election.
The News Agency of Nigeria report that heads of security agencies at the training presented documents on their operational activities and plans to effectively prevent breakdown of laws and order.
Operatives of security agencies in attendance were those of the Police, the Directorate of State Security, the Nigerian Customs Service and the Nigerian Army.
Others were those of the Nigerian Air Force, the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps and the Federal Road Safety Commission.