As preparations for the forthcoming general elections gathered more momentum, the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC says the Nigeria Police Force remains the lead agency for election security.
Mahmood Yakubu, INEC Chairman who said this at the regular quarterly consultative meeting of the Inter-Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security in Abuja stated that other security agencies will play a supportive role to the Police.
Yakubu noted that, learning from the experience of some of the 195 off-season elections conducted since 2015, it is pertinent to draw the attention of the Committee to the need for a different approach to the deployment of security forces during 2019 elections.
He however, said there is need for a new security architecture for the February/March polls consistent with the provision of Section 29 (3) of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended).
Yakubu pointed out that the law provides that, “notwithstanding the provisions of any other law and for purposes of securing the vote, the Commission shall be responsible for requesting for 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.
” Provided that the Commission shall only request for the deployment of the Nigerian Armed Forces only for the purposes of securing the distribution and delivery of election materials and protection of election officials
“Accordingly, this meeting shall discuss modalities for actualising the provision of the law. In particular, we are committed to ensuring that elections are organised in such a manner that the security agencies are not perceived to be running parallel arrangement with INEC. Rather, it should strictly be INEC’s plan for the election that should be implemented”.