A Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) is training security personnel on how best to conduct themselves securing elections, as Plateau prepares for Local Government elections.
Mr Nelson Ananze, Acting Executive Director, Community Action for Popular Participation (CAPP), said that the two-day training in Jos, was to help security personnel to be professional in their conducts before, during and after elections.
Ananze said that the training was also targeted at creating harmony between the security and citizens, especially women, youths and the physically challenged so that none is deprived of exercising his/her civic right.
“The training is also to acquaint them (security personnel) with the election laws.
“They need to know how to handle people, especially those with disability and how to handle situation during the exercise.
“A situation room will be set up to share information, and address security challenges peacefully and in time so that everyone can contribute to the success of the election.”
The director said that the initiative by CAPP was to ensure a credible election devoid of intimidation of voters by security personnel.
According to him, the NGO has mechanism in place to monitor the impact of the training on security agencies in the forthcoming local government polls in Plateau slated for February 17, 2018.
Mrs Chinyere Okorie and Mr Planji Cishak both staff of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) presented a paper on “Safeguarding the Electoral Process: The Role of Security Agencies”
The officials said that security agencies, particularly the police and the civil defense were saddled with the role of maintaining law and order during elections.
“They are also to checkmate those who are deliberately out to perpetuate violence and election rigging.
“In carrying out these functions, they often encounter series of challenge.
“However, some of them have also been seen to compromise their position by been bribed to take side by the politicians who propagate rigging during elections,”.
According to them, the risk of violence sometimes inhibit voter turnout, limit political campaign movements.
The officials commended CAPP for the initiative, which they said will boost political participation and enhance the entire electoral processes.
They told the security personnel to effectively remain absolutely neutral and professional in dealing with all parties during elections
“There should be zero tolerance for disrespect to the law and the disregard of the constitutional and civil right of citizens, voters and contestants alike.
“The security agencies or agents must not be seen to be propagating or espousing the interest or agenda of any politician or political party,”