NSA to Coordinate Election Security Service Delivery
In furtherance to efforts directed at guaranteeing peace as well as security and ensuring a credible electoral process before, during and after the 2019 general elections, the National Security Adviser (NSA) and the leadership of the National Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) held a regular Security Consultative Meeting with the security agencies under the auspices of the Inter-Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security (ICCES).
The meeting was convened for the principal objective of evaluating security issues in previous elections, identifying gaps, and evolving strategies directed at enhancing voters’ safety, security, freedom of choice and confidence in the electoral process ahead of the 2019 elections.
In recognising that the credibility of the electoral process is key to the advancement of our democratic evolution, national security and development; the National Security Adviser assured that he shall provide the requisite coordination that will ensure an effective synergy and optimal professional election security service delivery among all security agencies during the exercise.
As part of efforts aimed at achieving these fundamental objectives, the National Security Adviser confirmed that an Election Security Management Seminar, which will deepen the knowledge and operational capacity of security agents on election security and act as a veritable forum for perfecting operational coordination process among all security agencies that will be deployed for electoral functions across the country has been approved by the President and will soon be held. The objectives of this capacity building initiative are to facilitate the attainment of a credible electoral process, entrench democratic values and strengthen national security through quality, civil-oriented and human rights compliant security service delivery during the 2019 General Elections.
At the end of the Meeting, it was resolved as follows:
a. Citizens, as the most critical component in the electoral process, are urged to be law abiding during elections and resist the temptation of being used as cannon fodders during elections by misguided and desperate persons, while noting that any election is as credible as the determination of the citizens.
b. The National Security Adviser as the Coordinator of all security agencies will ensure that capacity building initiatives and effective inter-agency collaboration frameworks are evolved to guarantee seamless security deployments and prompt response to threats during the 2019 General Elections.
c. The Office of the National Security Adviser will continue to work with INEC, all security agencies and other strategic security stakeholders to strengthen the Interagency Consultative Committee on Election Security (ICCES) as a security coordination framework towards the 2019 General Elections and other elections across the country.
d. Code of Conduct for all security agencies will be developed to guide the operations of officers to be deployed and to hold them accountable for their actions in their line of duty.
e. Citizens’ rights will be fully protected to the extent that they perform their civic obligations within the dictates of the law. Electoral offences and sundry misconducts that could threaten national security and the electoral process will, however, be firmly but professionally dealt with. These include ballot boxes snatching, disruption of the voting process through acts of thuggery, vote buying, armed violence among others.
f. All security agencies resolved to work in harmony and within professional and legal dictates, and to collaborate effectively with the leadership of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in guaranteeing a peaceful, secure and credible process.
g. INEC leadership shall sustain on-going voters’ education and also strengthen the voting process with a view to emplacing innovative actions that will discourage the scourge of vote buying and other inducements during voting.
h. political office holders are urged to desist from using their security details and orderlies to disrupt elections or intimidate political opponents, INEC officials and voters.
The meeting concluded by reiterating the resolve of all security agencies to ensure that democratic values are deeply entrenched in our national polity within the context of best global practices, professional ethics, democratic norms, and principles of rule of law.
AIG Peace Ibekwe Abdallah