The Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) has reassured the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) of its commitment to work with other security agencies to enhance election security in Nigeria.
The NSCDC Commandant-General, Mr Ahmed Audi, gave the assurance during a courtesy visit to the INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, in his office on Tuesday, in Abuja.
Audi said that the NSCDC would strengthen its collaboration with INEC to ensure peaceful conduct of elections in the country, including the Anambra governorship election scheduled for Nov. 6.
”NSCDC is almost two decades old now, and by our Act we are involved in elections conduct in this country, as a member of the election monitoring committee.
”We have come to strengthen our existing relationship and familarise myself with you because we are working for Nigeria,” Audi said.
The commandant-general said that NSCDC had re-strategised its processes for election security.
Audi pledged that the corps would strengthen its personnel to continue to protect INEC facilities nationwide, especially in the South-East and South-South were the commission’s facilities had been largely attacked in recent times.
He also pledged that NSCDC would also provide security at INEC physical registration centres nationwide for the success of the ongoing Continuous Voter Registration (CVR).
The service had put in place adequate preparations for the Lere Federal Constituency by-election in Kaduna State, holding by Saturday, he said.
The NSCDC boss advised Nigerians to be security conscious, as the nation was passing through a new phase of insecurity called asymmetric conflict.
”We are not conversant with it in this country. It is the same conflict that dealt with a lot of countries for decades, before they are able to strategise and find solutions of dealing with it.
”Asymmetric war that operates as a guerilla type of war. So, we need to be mindful of how we move because these guys are serious.
”As you drive even on the streets don’t wind down your glass, wind up and always use your central lock,” he advised.
He assured Nigerians that the NSCDC under his leadership, had re-strategised to offer them protection.
The agency, he added, had developed a triangular formation strategy, including training of its personnel, promotion of professionalism and discipline to address current security challenge of the country.
In his remarks, Yakubu commended NSCDC’s reaffirmation to strengthen the existing partnership between the agency and INEC, in the best interest of Nigeria’s democracy.
Yakubu said that as a member of the Inter-agency Consultative Committee on Election Security (ICCES), the NSCDC was playing a critical role in the whole gamut of electoral activities in Nigeria.
”One of the critical roles of NSCDC is the protection of critical national assets and the assets of INEC are critical national assets.
”You have been playing that role very well. On behalf of the commission, therefore, I want to extend our appreciation to you,” he said.
He noted that the visit came at a time when INEC was carrying out critical activities, including the CVR.
Yakubu said that INEC consulted widely with security agencies and other stakeholders before it decided to commence physical registration at its state and local government offices at 811 locations.
He said the commission couldn’t deploy fully to over 2,600 centres nationwide based on its plan because of insecurity.
“We will continue to rely on the support of the security and the NSCDC in providing protection to our personnel and assets, as well as the registrants themselves, for the CVR exercise,” he stated.
Yakubu said that INEC was also looking forward to NSCDC and all other security agencies guaranteeing security for a transparent election in Anambra, the by-election in Kaduna State and future elections.