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INEC: How security agencies encourage thuggery during elections

INEC: How security agencies encourage thuggery during elections
January 10
12:34 2020
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The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says the failure of security agencies to act decisively and collaborate with one another encourages thuggery during elections.

Mahmood Yakubu, INEC chairman, said this during the inter-agency consultative committee on election security (ICCES) meeting held at the commission’s headquarters in Abuja on Friday.

Yakubu also said the security agencies have in some cases focused more on the number of personnel deployed for elections rather than on synergy and strategies to be adopted.

“The commission is concerned that security deployment in some of the most recent elections left much to be desired,” he said.

“There is more emphasis on numbers of security personnel to be deployed but less consideration on strategic deployment to protect the process, leaving the voters, election officials, party agents, observers, the media and even unarmed security personnel at polling units vulnerable to attacks by thugs and hoodlums.

“Furthermore, there is emphasis on numbers of security personnel but less on synergy, coordination and collaboration among the various security agencies in line with the purpose for which ICCES was established in the first instance.”

Yakubu said the committee must work towards a new approach in the forthcoming re-run elections for Nigerians to see a “qualitatively different security arrangement”.

“No thugs and hoodlums can be more powerful than the Nigeria Police and other security agencies,” he added.

“It is the failure to act decisively and collaboratively that encourages thuggery and serves as an incentive for bad behaviour.”

ON VOTE-BUYING

The INEC chairman said Ibrahim Magu and Bolaji Owasanoye, heads of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) are being admitted as members of ICCES to help tackle vote-buying during elections.

He said this is in recognition of the existing collaboration with the anti-corruption agencies in “tracking financial flows for illicit purposes as well as the arrest and prosecution of perpetrators of such flows, especially for the purpose of corrupting the electoral process”.

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