On Saturday, 18th November 2017, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is scheduled to conduct the governorship election in Anambra State. The YIAGA WTV is closely monitoring events as they unfold, with respect to INEC’s preparedness, engagement with all stakeholders, as well as the conduct of all stakeholders with statutory responsibilities towards the conduct of free, fair and credible elections.
In the context of election security, the Nigeria Police is deploying about 26,000 of its personnel to provide security for the elections in Anambra State. This is in line with its statutory responsibility of ensuring security and public safety throughout the election period in the state. It is in the light of the foregoing that the YIAGA WTV is concerned about the following security issues, which are capable of undermining the credibility of the elections if not addressed:
- There are public concerns about the level and extent of cooperation between INEC and security agencies, particularly the Nigerian Police. This might present a major setback on the security of the election if not addressed;
- Security relating to the safety of citizens, election observers, as well as the deployment of sensitive and non-sensitive materials to the polling units; and
- Balance should be struck between the deployments of security with citizens’ participation in the electoral process.
Against the backdrop of the foregoing, the YIAGA WTV makes the following recommendations:
- There’s greater need for synergy and collaboration between INEC, the police and other security agencies for the success of the election. The integrity and credibility of the 2017 Governorship election in Anambra state could be threatened if election security is not guaranteed.
- The police and other security agencies should ensure security deployment is commiserate with level of threat (s). It is also important that security deployment is in line with the principles of civility, professionalism and transparency and;
- The police and other security agencies should be impartial and professional in the discharge of their duties. They should ensure that their mechanisms for public safety would guarantee security for the people. This will help in assuaging fears over insecurity that might undermine the prospects for violence free elections in Anambra State.
In conclusion, YIAGA is convinced that with three days to the election, important steps can be taken to guarantee eligible voters are able to cast their vote in a safe and secure environment.
Hussaini Abdu PhD Samson Itodo
Chair, Executive Director
YIAGA WTV Working Group YIAGA
About YIAGA WTVThe YIAGA Watching The Vote is a citizens movement dedicated to enhancing the quality of elections in Nigeria. YIAGA is accredited by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to observe the 2017 governorship election in Anambra state. For the Anambra election, YIAGA is deploying 529 carefully selected, trained and accredited stationary citizen observers to a representative random sample of 250 polling units located in all 27 LGAs. These citizen observers will witness the entire Election Day process from setup of the polling unit through the announcement and posting of the official results. Using the Parallel Vote Tabulation, YIAGA will independently verify the accuracy of election results declared by INEC.
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