The National Security Adviser (NSA), Maj.-Gen. Babagana Monguno (rtd), has called for synergy, professionalism and patriotism among security agencies, ahead of the 2023 general election.
Monguno made the call in Abuja at the opening of a workshop on election security and management. The workshop was organised by the Nigeria Police, in collaboration with Solar Security and Consult Company Limited.
He said high level of professionalism, patriotism and synergy among the security agencies were fundamental in securing the electoral process.
The NSA said that Nigeria was exploring initiatives to reposition its Police Force and other security agencies to deliver peaceful, secured and credible 2023 elections. He said the workshop would also enhance the capacity to stabilise the current internal security challenges.
“It would also create an environment conducive for the citizens to exercise their franchise in 2023.
“A successfully policed and peaceful election circle is a fundamental variable in the quest by any nation to advance its democracy and deepen its democratic system.
“The mandate for this process in Nigeria rest majorly on the shoulders of the police.
“This is because it is the lead security agency in the electoral process with other security agencies and the military playing critical complementary roles.
“It is, therefore, expedient that the professional knowledge of the police, military and other security agencies be constantly refreshed to be in tune with global best practices,” he said.
Monguno said President Muhammadu Buhari had encouraged and supported developments and legal frameworks directed at strengthening Nigeria’s democratic institutions and culture.
The NSA said the presidential assent to the Electoral Amendment Bill in February represents a classical statement on the firm commitment of the president to the deepening of the Nigeria’s democracy.
He said the new Act contains innovative provisions that would enhance credibility of the election process in the country.
Monguno said the president had also clearly maintained that upholding the autonomy of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) was a veritable partway to a sustainable democracy.
“Indeed the successes recorded in the recent governorship elections in Anambra, Ekiti and Osun states clearly demonstrated the president’s commitment to guaranteeing a level playing field for democracy to strive in the country.
“I wish at this juncture to assure Nigerians of the determination of the president to bequeath a legacy of strong democratic institution and values to the country.
“I must reiterate that the president is firmly committed to delivering an election that is completely transparent to command general acceptance of the Nigerian population,” he added.
The NSA said the president had charged the military, DSS and other security agencies to synergise effectively to rebuild operational strategies and optimally deploy all their operational assets. He said the idea was to address the current and evolving internal security threats ahead of the 2023 general election.
In his remark, the Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Lucky Irabor, lauded the Inspector-General of Police, Mr Usman Baba, for the initiative to organise the workshop.
He said the precursor to the conduct of election was security, adding: “The aspiration of every Nigerian and friends of Nigerians is to have free, fair and secured elections in 2023.
“As members of the Armed Forces, we will continue to give support to the civil authority and the police, being the lead in internal security positioning.
“The entire leadership hierarchy of the Armed Forces is here to give their support and beyond that, we also have a covenant with the democratic process.
“The growth and stability of Nigeria’s democracy is so pivotal to our existence.
“So, we are here not only to reecho that covenant, but also to assure Nigerians that the military is prepared to give support throughout the entire process and beyond,” he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the IGP, at the workshop, said 400 officers would be trained across the 36 states of the federation and the Federal capital Territory (FCT).
“For ease of participation, the exercise has been decentralised and will hold in centres across the six geo-political zones of the country from August 4 to August 31,” he said.