Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has expressed confidence in the capacity of the Nigerian security agencies to protect its offices and curtail the recent attacks on them.
This is even as Chairman of the electoral body, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, dismissed suggestions by some Nigerians that the electoral body should hire high profile private security guards or agents to protect the commission’s facilities.
Yakubu maintained that Nigeria’s security agencies have the capacity to defend the commission’s facilities from attacks.
He also asserted jittery politicians, who are scared of losing election, are the ones behind the perennial attacks on its facilities.
He made the assertion in Abuja at the presentation of a book by Henry Dunant Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue (HD) titled: “Post-Election Assessment of Conflict Management Mechanisms in Nigeria, 2019 and beyond
The book, which is the report of a study conducted by Professor Freedom Onuoha and Dr Gbemisola Animasaun in partnership with the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany, Governments of Canada and Norway, sought to ascertain whether or not, the prevailing conflicts in parts of the country had any bearing on the elections and their outcomes, among other objectives.
The research study covered eight states of the federation which include; Adamawa, Benue, Imo, Kano, Kaduna, Plateau, Rivers and Lagos.
Yakubu, who was represented by INEC’s Deputy Director, Voter Education and Publicity, Chukwuemeka Ugboaja, said Nigeria has formidable security outfits that can get the job of protecting INEC facilities and the fidelity of election materials done efficiently.
He said: “As far as security is concerned, Nigeria has formidable security agencies, the police are there, the military is there, the other intelligence agencies are there too. So if they are there, why should INEC hire private security agencies?
“We very much believe in their efficacy and what they can do. And I trust that they will be able to police the nation very well for the election to hold. Remember that in Ekiti and Osun Governorship elections, the police behaved maturely and they did a very good job. We believe that is how it’s going to be throughout the nation”
Yakubu further assured Nigerians that the attacks on the commission’s facilities won’t hinder it from conducting credible elections.
He also assured that the commission’s server, especially its result viewing portal would be well protected from hackers, adding that he won’t reveal to Nigerians how that would be carried out.
“I think it would be better for those who are perpetrating mayhem or who are threatening hell and brimstone to shelve that aside and allow peace to reign in Nigeria and in the electoral process so that the electoral and the democratic process in Nigeria will not be truncated.
“We have no doubt that hackers may try in vain to go into the system, to get or perform mayhem in the election portal so it is a good assurance from the commission”, Yakubu stated.
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