INEC Training on Election Security

Many of the innovations and reforms carried out by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has had numerous benefits on the electoral process. One such improvement is in the area of electoral security.  The European Centre for Electoral Support is happy to support the INEC Training on Election Security for Bayelsa State Governorship Elections under the European Union Support to Democratic Governance in Nigeria (EU-SDGN). The event took place from 12-14th September 2019 in Yenagoa, Bayelsa state, with the aim of enlightening security personnel about measures and initiatives introduced by the INEC. Participants at the training were mainly officers of various security agencies which make up the ICCES.

The INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu was represented at the event by the Bayelsa Resident Electoral Commission (REC), Pastor Monday Udoh-Tom. He mentioned that INEC has the objective "to ensure a more efficient and hitch-free electoral service delivery in the conduct of elections". Hence, the need to have often interactions with all stakeholders, particularly "the security personnel that will protect the process". He further charged the participants to apply themselves dispassionately to the training and ensure a more efficient electoral security service delivery in the conduct of Elections. The INEC Chairman thanked ECES for what he described as a "robust and rewarding relationship with the Commission.

The 3-day training organised by The Electoral Institute (TEI) has the objective of bringing out the best and enhance a high level of Professionalism in Security Personnel deployed for Election. The Director-General of the Electoral Institute, Dr Sa'ad Umar Idris was represented by TEIs deputy director, Mr Ifeanyi Agoha. In his welcome remarks revealed that the success of the 2019 General Election was hinged mostly on the conduct of security agents. Some topics to be treated in the modular form includes, Electoral Environment and Electoral Security, Electoral Security Assessment, Planning and Coordination, Overview of Election Activities, Ethical Issues in Electoral Security and Human Rights, among others.

Also present at the event was National Commissioner Prince Solomon Adedeji Soyebi who heads the Board of Electoral Institute (BEI). He was represented by Admin Secretary Ekong Boko, who reiterated the need for security personnel to be nonpartisan and committed to providing adequate security for the electoral process. The Commissioner of Police (CP), Bayelsa State command Mr Uche Anozia represented by the DCP in his remarks advised the participants to take advantage of this capacity building initiative of the Commission, while the Special Adviser to Hon. Chairman, INEC, Prof. M.J. Kuna wished participants fruitful deliberations throughout the training.