INEC seeks new security approach to 2019 polls

The Independent National Electoral Commission on Wednesday called for a different approach to the deployment of security officials  during the forthcoming general  elections.

The chairman of INEC, Prof Mahmood Yakubu, stated this in Abuja during the commission’s  meeting on the Inter-agency Consultative Committee on Election Security.

According to him, the meeting was convened primarily to update members of ICCES on the body’s  preparations  for the  general elections.

 The meeting was attended by a representative of the National Security Adviser and heads of  the various national security agencies.

Yakubu said, “It is also an opportunity to hear from the security agencies  how prepared they are for the elections. However, learning from the experience of some of the 195 off-season elections conducted since 2015, it is pertinent to draw our attention to the need for a different approach to the deployment of security forces during elections.

“The police  remain the lead agency for election security. Other security agencies will play  supportive roles. However, we need a new security architecture for 2019, consistent with the provision of Section 29 (3) of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended).”

The INEC  boss  cited Section 29 (3) of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended)  stating  that, “Notwithstanding the provisions of any other law and for purposes of securing the vote, the commission shall be responsible for requesting  the deployment of relevant security personnel necessary for elections or registration of voters and shall assign them in a manner to be determined by the commission in consultation with the relevant security agencies.”

Yakubu said, “We are committed to ensuring that elections are organised in such a manner that the security agencies are not perceived to be running parallel arrangements with INEC. Rather, it should strictly be INEC’s plan for the election that should be implemented.

“In continuation of our preparations for the elections, the commission undertook a nationwide registration of voters and integrated the new registrants to the national register of voters for the 2019 general elections. As a result, the final register now stands at 84,004,084 voters.”
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