**Directs Military, Police, DSS, Other Security Agencies to Synergise Operational Strategies to address all security threat’s before 2023
By: Kingsley Omonobi – Abuja.
Ahead of the 2023 general election, President Muhammadu Buhari has declared that there will be “No Wuruwuru” to favour and Political Party or Candidate contesting in whatever position.
“In furtherance to this, the President has charged the military, the police, the DSS and all other security agencies to synergize and effectively review operational strategies and optimally deploy all operational assets towards addressing current and evolving internal security threats ahead of the forthcoming general election’s”.
National Security Adviser, Major Gen. Babagana Monguno (rtd) made this known at the opening of a workshop on ‘Election Security Management organized by the Nigerian Police Force in Abuja and Solar Security Consult
Speaking as the Special Guest of honour at the flag off, the NSA said, “This noble capacity building programme is
germane to our national security. This election’s security mangement training organised by the Inspector general of police is coming at the most critical time when our country is exploring initiatives to re-position the Nigerian Police Force and other Security agencies in delivering a peaceful, secure and credible 2023 general elections is unprecendented and appropraite.
“It will also enhance the capacity to stabilize the curerent internal security challenges towards creating a condusive environment for the citizens to exercise their franchise.
“A successfully policed and peaceful electoral cycle is a fundamental variable in the quest by any nation to advance its democracy and deepen its democratic “gates”.
“The mandate for this process in Nigeria rests principally on the shoulders of the police, being the lead security agency in the electoral process with the intelligence community, other security agencies and the military playing critical complementary roles.
“It is therefore expedient that the professional knowledge of the police, military and other security agencies be constantly refreshed, widen and tuned to global best practices in the national quest to consolidate our democracy and meet the yearnings of the citizens for a safe, secure and credible outcome at every electoral cycle.
“In furtherance to this, President Muhammadu Buhari has encouraged and supported the development of policy and legal frameworks, directed and strengthened our democratic institutions and culture, while also advancing the security sector reform agenda that is aimed at enhancing the capacity of the Nigerian Police and other security agencies in the delivery of their election security mandates.
“The Presidential assent to the Electoral Amendment bill on 25th of February this year represents a classical statement on the firm commitment of Mr. President to the deepening of our democracy as the new law contains innovative provisions that will enhance the credibility of the electoral process in our country.
“The president also clearly maintains that upholding the autonomy of the Independent National Electoral Commission is a veritable pathway to a sustainable democracy.
“In this regard, the financial autonomy granted to INEC in the Electoral Act of 2022 as amended in destructive. Indeed, the sucesses recorded in the recent governorship elections in Anambra, Ekiti and Osun states clearly demonstrates Mr. President commitment to guarantee a level-plain field for our democracy to strife.
“I wish at this juncture to assure you all of the determination of the President to be begueath a leagcy of strong democratic institutions and values to our beloved nation.
“This remains resolute and the commitment in guaranteeing a free, fair, credible and secure general elections in 2023 remains a wavering.
“I must reiterate that the President is firmly committed to delivering an election that is completely transparent and going to command the general acceptance of the Nigerian population.
“This election as far as the President is concerned, will be devoid of, to use the Nigerian parlance, any ‘Wurururu’.
“Now, in furtherance to this, the President has charged the military, the police, the DSS and all other security agencies to synergise effectively review the operational strategies and optimally deploy all the operational assets towards addressing current and evolving internal security threats ahead of the forthcoming general elections.
“I am confident that the Presidential directives will be achieved and the 2023 general elections will be conducted peacefully in a stable security environment.
“Inorder to achieve this strategic objective, a high level of professonalism, patroitism and synergy among all security agencies concerned in the electoral process is fundamental. I am therefore optimistic that this workshop will enhance the capacity of security agencies with the view to providing a lasting solution to our current and future elections security issues.
“As we prepare for the 2023 general elections, I urge all the participants to take full advantage of the opportunity provided by this important training to enhance their professional knowledge, build a professional network and engage in professional peer review interactions that could be explored to sharpen their operational proficiency during the 2023 general elections and other joint internal security task.
“I look forward to a workshop outcome that will positively change elections security governance in Nigeria and guarantee the success of the 2023 general elections”.
In his remarks, the Inspector General of Police, IGP Usman Alkali said, “Election security governance is critical to the advancement of democratic culture across the free world. In Nigeria, by virtue of the Electoral Act 2022 (As amended), the Nigeria Police Force is the lead agency in the election security process.
“The Force is, however, complemented by the Military, Intelligence community, and other security and safety agencies.
“The import of this is that the success of every election is determined not just by the strength of the legal framework regulating the course, but by a few other key variables.
“First is the depth of the professional knowledge and operational competence of the Police and other complementary security actors. Second, is the electoral space in terms of the security realities of the country, and third is the extent of the professional bond among the security agencies on the one hand, and between the security agencies, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), and other strategic stakeholders in the electoral process on the other hand.
“Whichever way we look at these variables, the reality remains that the Nigeria Police is fundamental to the drive to guarantee an internal security space that will be free of threats that could expose our democratic heritage to risks, and conducive enough for the electoral cycle, which is a critical component of democracy, to be fulfilled.
“Over the years, however, there have been questions on the professional capacity of the Nigeria Police and other security agencies in relation to the performance of their election security mandate.
“In addressing these concerns, efforts have been consistently made by the Office of the National Security Adviser, Independent National Electoral Commission, and successive leaderships of the Nigeria Police force and these have translated into improved election security operations by the Nigeria Police as evidenced by our widely commended performances during the 2019 General Elections and recent off-season elections in Edo, Anambra, Ondo, Ekiti and Osun States.
“Mindful of its critical role in the election security value chain, and conscious of the need to continually broaden its professional knowledge and operational capacity with a view to closing the knowledge gap that could inhibit the optimal delivery of our election security mandate the leadership of the Nigeria Police found it expedient to expose personnel to tailor-made training ahead of the 2023 General Elections. This informed the concept of this Workshop.
“This initiative which is being delivered under the theme – ‘The 2023 General Elections: Enhancing National Security Capacity for a Secure and Credible Electoral Process in Nigeria’ is part of the broad action plans of the Force leadership to prepare Police personnel for the general elections in 2023.
“It is a Train-the-Trainer Workshop in which participating officers will be supported to transfer the knowledge to be acquired to wider sets of personnel in their Areas of Jurisdiction.
“Under this phase, about four hundred officers will be trained across the 36 States of the Federation and the FCT.
“For ease of participation, the exercise has been decentralized and will hold in Centres across the six (6) geo-political zones of the country from 4th – 31st August, 2022.
“The centres comprise of Abuja for North Central; Benin-City for South South; Borno for North East; Enugu for South East; Ibadan for South West, and Kano for North West.
“Professional and expert facilitators drawn from the Independent Electoral Commission, serving and retired security experts, the academics and Civil Society Organisations have been engaged to deliver series of lectures to participants on topics that cover ‘Role of Security Agencies in the Electoral Process’; Electoral Crisis Management’; ‘Human rights Issues in Election Security Operations’; and ‘Legal Framework of Elections in Nigeria’; ‘Security threat analysis’ which will dissect current security situation and explore strategies that could mitigate them ahead of the general elections.
“Other topics include ‘Roles of Political Stakeholders and other Actors in Election Security’; ‘Security for Vulnerable Groups during Elections’; ‘Media Relations and Security Functions’; ‘Electoral Offences, Investigation and Punishments’; ‘Civil Societies and Monitoring of the Electoral Process’; and Standards and Principles of Elections’.
“There will also be case studies that will draw on practical electoral occurrences at previous election security situations in exposing participants to hands-on components of election security operations in Nigeria.
“In order to engender an all-inclusive training, slots were allocated to some Ministries, Departments and Agencies that play complimentary roles in the election security process to participate in the Workshop. They include the Office of the National Security Adviser, Military, DSS, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, Nigeria Immigration Service, Nigeria Customs Service, Nigerian Correctional Service, Federal Road Safety Corps, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Independent Corrupt Practices Commission, National Drugs Law Enforcement Agency, National Identity Management Commission, National Youth Service Corps, National Orientation Agency, and Ministry of Interior, among others”.
“Outcomes expected at the completion of the training are, Robust inter-agency collaboration towards effective security governance during the 2023 General Elections and in other future joint electoral security operations.
“Enhanced knowledge of security agents on election security management, drawing on global best practices.
Development of an ‘Election Security Management Protocol’ that will act as the standard security management template for future elections at all levels in Nigeria.
“It is anticipated that the document will act as a credible reference document for all security agencies and other strategic stakeholders within the electoral system in Nigeria.
“Appreciation of peculiar election security threats and specific approaches towards managing them at various stages of the electoral process, Knowledge of current pattern and trend of crimes and internal security threats, and pathways to mitigating them and stabilising the security order ahead of the 2023 General Election’s
As part of efforts to ensure the sustainability of the gains of this initiative, we plan to develop all the Workshop Presentations into a publication which will be launched in due course. When published, it will serve as a credible, professional, and academic reference book on election security in Nigeria.
“We have also resolved to incorporate Election Security Management modules into the Training Curriculum of the Nigeria Police Force for purpose of entrenching it into our professional training structure.”
Among dignitaries at the occasion were the INEC Chairman, Professor Yakubu, American Ambassador to Nigeria, Mary Beth-Leonard, the minister of Police Affairs, Maigari Dingyadi, Chief of Defence Staff,Gen. Lucky Irabor, Service Chiefs, former IGPs including Dr. Solomon Arase, Ogbonna Onovo, Mike Okiro, MD Abubakar, Aliyu Attah, and representstives of EFCC and NYSC.
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