2019 Elections: ‘We need new approach’, INEC tells security agencies

As part of the effort to improve the work done by security agencies during elections, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) since 2015, the Commission has called for a different security approach ahead of the 2019 general elections.

Chairman of the commission, Prof. Yakubu Mahmood, made the call on Wednesday during the first quarterly 2019 consultative meeting of Inter-Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security (ICCES) in Abuja.

“We need a new security architecture for 2019 consistent with the provision of Section 29 (3) of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended), he said.

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According to Mahmood, the need for new approach has become necessary due to the lessons learnt from 195 off-season elections conducted by INEC since 2019.

“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 election.”

In October 2018, the European Union, United Kingdom and the United States in a joint statement said the Osun election was characterised by, “widespread incidents of interference and intimidation of voters, journalists, and civil society observers by some political party supporters and security agencies.”

Similarly, a coalition of over 50 domestic and international election observers faulted the role of security agencies in the Ekiti 2018 governorship election, saying the election falls below global standard.

Mahmood cautioned security agencies against running parallel arrangement with INEC thereby smearing credibility of the 2019 polls.

Responding on behalf of security agencies, representative of the National Security Adviser (NSA), Idowu Owohunwa, said the Office of the NSA is ready to support INEC by providing the needed leadership and coordination of security agencies for credible and peaceful conduct of the elections.

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