The National Security Adviser, NSA, Nuhu Ribadu, has said that security agencies are putting measures in place to provide a secure environment for the conduct of the February 3 rerun and by-elections nationwide.
Ribadu, represented by the Director of Internal Security in the Office of the NSA, Hassan Abdullahi, stated this at the meeting of the Inter-agency Consultative Committee on Election Security, ICCES, on Tuesday in Abuja.
Ribadu said security agencies are also working on measures that would uphold the integrity of the electoral process.
“The President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, as always, posited that the ability of security agencies to maintain law and order, protect lives and property, and ensure the safety of voters, electoral officials and candidates is fundamental to the integrity of the electoral process.
“Therefore, in future elections, particularly the forthcoming by-elections and rerun elections, we must prevent and manage election-related violence, intimidation and other security threats so as to uphold the credibility of the process.
“The office of the NSA and security agencies under the platform of ICCES will sustain collaboration with INEC to ensure that elections are conducted in a secure and peaceful environment.
“In this regard, the coordination of security operations, deployment of personnel and adoption of proactive security measures will be paramount,” Ribadu said.
He added that the ONSA was also coordinating security agencies in the strategic management of post-electoral conflicts in a bit to hold the legitimacy of the outcomes of the votes.
He averred that proactive communication with plans and measures is also in place for transparent handling of security-related issues, shaping public confidence in and perception of ICCES and the agencies involved.
Ribadu said that, learning from the last off-cycle governorship election in Bayelsa, Imo and Kogi, the Office of the NSA believed that strategic planning for post-election security remained crucial in maintaining law and order.
He said this is also important in preventing post-election violence and addressing any security challenges that might arise following the announcement of results.
“Accordingly, we will ensure a strategic approach to post-election security through contingency planning and rapid response capabilities.
“In conclusion, like in the previous elections in Bayelsa, Imo and Kogi, we will ensure adequate provision of resources to members of ICCES to enable them to discharge their duties with a high sense of responsibility,” he said.