Posted by Okechukwu Keshi Ukegbu | 18 January 2019 | 679 times
The Centre for Law Enforcement Education in Nigeria (CLEEN) has conducted a two-day capacity building workshop in Aba, the commercial city of Abia State, for police officers in the South-East on election security management for the forthcoming general elections.
In an address delivered by the Executive Director of CLEEN, Dr Benson Olugbuo, and read by one of the project managers, Mrs Chigozirim Okoro, the group reminded the police that the forthcoming general elections present an opportunity for Nigerians and the international community to measure and rate the standard of the Nigerian police.
“We expect the police to be professional in handling the elections. As the country prepares for general elections in a few days from now, there is the likelihood that some part of the country will experience some electoral violence as we have seen in the past,” Olugbuo explained.
CLEEN said it conducted a nationwide survey between October and December last year, the essence of which was to identify electoral risks that are likely to affect the 2019 general elections to enable election stakeholders, including the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), security agencies and civil society organisations deploy appropriate responses.
While the survey examined potential security threats to the 2019 general elections across the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory, it was identified that vote buying is the foremost of the 14 factors that could generate tension or electoral violence.
Another factor identified by majority of the respondents across the 36 states that could generate electoral violence is the citizens’ disaffection with government either on economic considerations or policy ground.
In addition, political parties, religious extremists, cultists, and other armed groups, conduct of security agents, hate speech, drug abuse, exclusion of certain groups on the bases of age, gender and religious identity, media partisanship, were other factors identified as likely to cause electoral violence.
In his address, the Abia State Resident Electoral Commissioner, Dr Joseph Valentine Iloh, observed that “through intensive, extensive, and aggressive mobilisation and sensitisation of the people of the state, voter apathy was removed and a total number of registered voters in the state currently stands at 1,933,974.”
According to Iloh, “It is interesting to inform our distinguished participants that Abia State registered a total number of 579, 99 after the continuous voter registration that was suspended in August 2018.
“This impressive figure placed Abia State 3rd in the whole federation after Lagos and Rivers State, respectively. This achievement was as a result of all stakeholders, including the mass media.”
The commission therefore appealed to police officers who will be involved in the elections to help ensure a peaceful atmosphere.
•A cross section of participants at the CLEEN capacity building workshop for police officers held in Aba
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