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Saturday 26 January 2019

2019 election: EU sends strong warning to Nigeria’s security agencies

2019 election: EU sends strong warning to Nigeria’s security agencies

The European Centre for Electoral Support (ECES), Nigeria, has advised security agencies to display highest sense of professionalism in handling security matters in forthcoming general elections in the country.

Project Coordinator, ECES Nigeria, Mr Rudolf Elbling, gave the advice at a two-day training workshop on election security on Friday in Abuja.

He urged security personnel who would be deployed for the elections to act in accordance with rules and regulations guiding policing the exercises.

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Elbling said that security agencies had critical roles to play in securing the electoral process, adding that such assignment had become more challenging in view of reported cases of security breaches in parts of the country.

“The issue of security is indeed very complex in a vast country like Nigeria where election personnel and materials have to be deployed across large expanse of land and sometimes, difficult terrain.

“It is my hope that this training will improve the skills and strengthen the commitment of security agencies to promptly respond to cases of security threats before, during and after the 2019 elections.

“Election, no doubt, is a sensitive and complex operation.

“It is, however, our expectation that the security forces will display the highest sense of professionalism in handling issues of election security and maintain a friendly and non-partisan disposition.

“This will inspire the confidence of the general populace in the electoral process,’’ he said.

Elbling said that provision of security for Nigerians during elections was important for transparent and credible exercise.

“Conducting hitch-free and credible election requires a peaceful environment devoid of threats to lives and properties.

“Election officials can only discharge their responsibilities of organizing elections, including deployment and retrieval of materials, in a secured environment.

“Voters also require a peaceful environment to be able to come out and vote during elections without fear of intimidation and harassment,’’ he stated.

The coordinator said that the training was held concurrently in the six geopolitical zones of the country.

He expressed optimism that the training would improve the conduct of the Police and other security forces in the conduct of credible election in Nigeria.

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