Police warn security agents against interference in election process

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Asaba- The Police in Delta on Monday warned security agencies charged with providing security during the forthcoming general elections not to interfering in the election process.
The State’s Commissioner of Police, Mr Alkali Usman, gave the warning in Asaba, while addressing a meeting of Delta Inter-Agency Consultative Forum on Election Security.
He said the primary role of the security agents was to provide adequate security at polling units, collation centres and to ensure that election processes were conducted in a peaceful atmosphere.
“Let me sound it clear that security agents are not allowed to interfere in the process of accreditation, voting, counting of ballot papers, collation and declaration of results.
“However, they should be witnesses to the declarations and a copy of the result signed by the returning officers should be given to the security agents,” Usman said.
The commissioner reminded the security agents that they were mandated to take necessary measures to prevent violence or any activity that may threaten or disrupt the peaceful conduct of the elections.
According to him, the security agents should also provide intelligence security networking; ensure the security and safety of all election materials as well as officials. [pro_ad_display_adzone id=”10″]
Usman disclosed that the meeting was necessitated by the need for the various security agencies to dialogue and join forces together to ensure a peaceful conduct of the election.
“The essence of this meeting is for us to plan and put in place a formidable synergy in ensuring the provision of adequate security during the forthcoming elections.
“Many people believe that this election is going to be tough and challenging.
“This is why we must all provide election security which is crucial for creating the proper environment for peace and harmony,” the commissioner said.
Also speaking, INEC’s Resident Electoral Commissioner for Delta, Elder Aniedi-Abasi Ikoiwok, said the commission was committed to ensuring peaceful, credible, free and fair elections.
He disclosed that the commission had set up inter-agency committee on voter education.
According to him, we are going to embark on aggressive voter education to ensure that every eligible voter has his or her permanent voter’s card.
“This is important because no voter will be allowed to vote without the PVC, so our major task is to ensure that we get the cards across to every registered voter,” he said.
Ikoiwok said that the introduction of the Card Reader would bring into play a new innovation in the commission’s effort to address the major challenge of voters’ accreditation.
He explained that the Card Reader would ensure effective accreditation as well as guard against irregularities associated with accreditation of voters in previous elections.
“If electoral officers did what INEC told them to do in 2011, by recording and announcing the number of accredited voters before voting, there would have been no need to introduce card reader,” he said.
In his contribution, Mr Isaac Ezechi, the State Coordinator of the National Orientation Agency (NOA), advised stakeholders in the electoral process to be dedicated in efforts to achieve success in the election.
He said the events of the past elections had left much to be desired, just as he regretted that abnormalities in the process had destroyed public confidence in the electoral system.
In a remark, Dr Ifeanyi Okowa, the PDP Governorship Candidate, urged INEC to list out the towns and communities identified as major flashpoints of violence to assist security agents.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the meeting was attended by heads of various security agencies in the state, leaders of the various political parties as well as party candidates. (NAN)

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