The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is advocating for a different strategy for the deployment of security officials during the forthcoming general elections.
Prof Mahmood Yakubu, INEC’s Chairman, made this call in Abuja during the commission’s meeting on the Inter-agency Consultative Committee (ICCES) on Election Security to update members of committee on the INEC’s preparations for the 2019 general elections.
Yakubu said even though the meeting was an opportunity to hear from the security agencies how prepared they are for the elections, the learning from the experience of some of the 195 off-season elections conducted since 2015 makes it pertinent to adopt 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),” he said.
The Section 29 (3) of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended) states 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 INEC is committed to ensuring that its plan for the election that should be strictly implemented and organised in such a manner that the security agencies are not perceived to be running parallel arrangements with INEC. He stated that with the recent voters registration exercises across the country, the final voter register now stands at 84,004,084 voters for the 2019 general elections.
The meeting was attended by a representative of the National Security Adviser and heads of the various national security agencies.