The Independent National Electoral Commission on Wednesday called for a different approach to the deployment of security forces during elections.
The demand came about 37 days to the 2019 general elections, and at a time campaigns have commenced nationwide and preparations already at advanced levels.
The chairman of INEC, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, stated this in Abuja during the Commission’s regular quarterly consultative meeting on the Inter-Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security.
According to him, the meeting was convened primarily to update members of ICCES on the Commission’s preparedness for the 2019 general elections and to also hear from the security agencies concerning their preparations so far.
The ICCES consultative meeting was attended by a representative of the National Security Adviser and heads of various security agencies in Nigeria.
Yakubu said, “This meeting is convened primarily to update members of ICCES on our preparations for the 2019 general elections.
“It is also an opportunity to hear from the security agencies on your preparations so far.
“However, learning from the experience of some of the 195 off-season elections conducted since 2015, it is pertinent to draw our attention to the need for a different approach to the deployment of security forces during elections.
“The Nigeria Police Force remains the lead agency for election security. Other security agencies will play a supportive role to the Nigeria Police.
“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 added, “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 arrangements with INEC.
“Rather, it should strictly be INEC’s plan for the election that should be implemented.”