Saturday guber poll: INEC demands improved performance from security agencies
Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has demanded improved performance from the various security agencies participating in this weekend’s governorship and State Assembly election. Many security agents had put up shabby performances during the February 25 presidential election, especially aiding and abating some thugs to snatch ballot boxes. Handing the warning during a meeting with the Inter-Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security (ICCES), INEC chairman, Mahmood Yakubu, though commended them for showing professionalism, he however demanded improvement from them.
Yakubu also urged stakeholders and supporters to see the elections as a contest and not war, and refrain from acts of violence that may mar the poll or compromise the security of personnel, observers, media and service providers. “I wish to express the commission’s appreciation to the security agencies and other members of ICCES for the professionalism of personnel and the generally peaceful conduct of the elections. We look forward to improved performance in the elections holding this weekend,” Yakubu charged.
“The governorship elections will hold in 28 States of the Federation. As you are aware, governorship elections in eight States (Anambra, Bayelsa, Edo, Ekiti, Imo, Kogi, Ondo and Osun States) are held off-cycle and therefore not conducted during the General Election. However, elections will be conducted for all the 993 State constituencies nationwide. “Our state offices have made available to the Nigeria Police Force, being the lead agency in election security, the delimitation details for both the governorship and state assembly elections, including locations of Polling Units and Collation Centres.
“On that basis, we expect a coordinated deployment plan in synergy with other security, intelligence, law enforcement and safety agencies. “It is therefore important for parties and candidates to speak to their agents and supporters to see the elections as a contest and not war. They should refrain from acts of violence that may mar the elections or compromise the security of our personnel, observers, the media and service providers. “The commission is encouraged by the directive to State Commands by the Inspector General of Police to handle all cases of electoral offences expeditiously. We look forward to receiving the case files. We will immediately set up a legal team to handle such cases in earnest,” he promised.
In his own remarks, National Security Adviser (NSA) who doubles as ICCES co-chairman, Maj-Gen Mohammed Babagana Monguno (retd) warned that the federal government will give maximum support to security agencies involved in this process to deal with electoral offenders. He warned political actors to cage their supporters and commended the efforts of the various political parties and the individuals that participated in the presidential election. “I want to also urge the same individuals at the state level, to demonstrate the same level of maturity, the same level of discipline by calling their supporters to conduct themselves in a manner that is congruent with the expectations of the larger Nigerian society.
“Of course there are channels for laying complaints and for addressing these complaints for the security agencies. I know a lot has been done. I have been talking with the Chief of Defence staff. I have been talking with the Inspector General of Police, who is the head of the lead agency in the process of elections. “So far, so good we do not envisage anything that is going to be terrible or apocalyptic in terms of the next few days, but that does not mean that we should all do away with a state of readiness.
“We must comply with the rules. We must also allow everyone I have said this so many times to exercise their fundamental rights as citizens of this country. “What we do not want to happen is for anybody to pre-empt, and to take the law into his or her own hands. I want to be very, very clear on this. We are going to give the maximum support to all entities involved in this process. “And we are also calling on the political bigwigs, the gladiators to call their lieutenant to order anybody who is itching to undermine this process should please think again. It is not in his own interest. It is not in the interest of the nation as well.
“Finally, those of us in the security agencies will continue to work around the clock all the crisis centres are open, all the communication systems are also open. And we have been talking with the chairman of INEC. “If there is anything that needs to be done anything that needs to be added, my office is always open, ready and available to give that support. Once again, I want to thank each and every one of you. And I hope that Saturday will be a day that will come and go without any incidents,” he said.
Source: The Sun
Delta PDP guber candidate, Oborevwori escapes assassination
The governorship candidate of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Delta state, Sheriff Oborevwori, escaped assassination, says his Chief Press secretary, Mr Denis Otu.
Otu, in a statement made available to newsmen on Tuesday, said the incident occurred between Elume Junction and Okuabude in Okpe Local Government Area at about 9.05p.m., adding that a policeman in the Oborevwori’s convoy sustained injuries. He said Sheriff, who is also Speaker of the state House of Assembly, was returning from a political meeting in Sapele.
Otu added that the exchange of fire between his security men and the suspected assassins lasted for about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, Vanguard gathered that the Elume end of the Warri-Sapele Road has been a hot spot for kidnap activities in the state for over a year. “The convoy of the Delta State PDP governorship candidate, Sheriff Oborevwori, on Sunday, March 12, came under heavy attack from unknown gunmen between Elume Junction and Okuabude in Okpe Local Government Area of the State.
“The car, which he was driving and security vehicles attached to the convoy, were riddled with bullets in the incident that took place at about 9:05p.m. “His brave security men rose to the occasion by engaging the suspected assassins in a duel which lasted for over 10 minutes before the gunmen took to their heels and disappeared into the night. “Although no life was lost, one of the security men attached to the PDP governorship candidate sustained injuries,” he added.
Source: Vanguard/The Nation