The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has assured that it would ensure that intensive and extensive security is provided for election personnel, materials and processes ahead of the 2023 General Election.
The National Commissioner and Chairman of the Board of the Electoral Institute, Professor Abdullahi made this known at the opening of a two day Validation Workshop of Election Security Training Resources, in Abuja.
According to Professor Zuru, the Commission is taking Electoral security seriously because of security challenges in parts of the country and the fact that National Youth Service Corps Members constitute the core of the Polling Unit Election Officials.
Professor Zuru warned that if the challenge of insecurity is not urgently addressed, it could ultimately culminate in the cancellation or postponement of elections in sufficient constituencies to hinder declaration of election results and precipitate a constitutional crisis.
Speaking further, Professor Zuru said the “progressive and commendable” improvement of security personnel during the Osun and Ekiti Governorship Elections is tied to the Electoral Security Training conducted by The Electoral Institute.
In his welcome Remarks, the Director General of The Electoral Institute, Dr. Sa’ad Umar Idris emphasized that the Election Security Training Documents will play a very critical role in the effective training of Security Personnel in securing the electoral environment for free, fair, credible and inclusive elections.
Dr. Idris added that the outcome of the workshop will lead to an improvement in the professionalism of securing the electoral environment.
The four documents to be validated are: the electoral security personnel training manual, the electoral security personnel facilitator’s guide, the electoral security handbook and the basic security in election duty handbook.
In his goodwill message, the Country Director, International Foundation for Electoral Systems, IFES, Serah Jah, said managing security threats in the electioneering process is a tall order for INEC.
To effectively provide security during elections, Serah stressed that security personnel needed adequate training on their roles and responding polls.
He however restated IFES’ commitment to continuously partner with INEC and its members in building a sustainable democracy in Nigeria.