By Lateef Ibrahim
In its determination to address the various security challenges experienced during past elections, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has inaugurated a sub-committee to review existing election security architecture.
The nine-member committee, chaired by National Commissioner AVM Tijani Mu’azu (rtd), drew its membership from the Department of State Services (DSS), Office of the Chief of Defense Staff, Nigeria Police Force, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) and Office of the National Security Adviser (NSA).
According to a bulletin issued by the INEC and edited by its Director of Voters Enlightenment and Publicity, VEP, Mr Oluwole Osaze-Uzzi, other members
of the Committee are; two National Commissioners; Professor Okechukwu Ibeanu and Dr. Mohammed Mustafa Lecky.
At a brief inauguration ceremony at the Commission’s Headquarters in Abuja, yesterday, the Chairman of the Commission, Professor Yakubu Mahmood, represented by the Committee’s Chair, AVM Tijani Mu’azu (rtd), stressed the need to review existing election security strategies to advance the course of violence-free polls.
The INEC Chairman said the sub-committee was set up to strengthen the synergy between Security Agencies and the Commission with a view to ensuring the safety of lives and properties during elections.
His words: “The Commission formed the sub-committee to look at how to strengthen synergy between Security Agencies and INEC and to look at how we can collaborate in the field.”
The Committee which has 30 days to submit its report was given the following terms of reference:
“Advise on the strengths and challenges of ICCES on an inter-agency collaboration for election security; Develop a set of rules of engagement for security agencies in electoral activities; and Update the existing Code of Conduct to apply to all security agencies on election.
“Recommend a framework for collaborative deployment, coordination and funding of security agencies for the purpose of election.
“Develop a system for the regular review of the work of ICCES in the pre-election, election ad post-election period; and Make any other recommendation(s) to deepen collaboration and improve the role of ICCES in the electoral process.