The Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on the Nigerian Army, Hon. Abdulrasak Namdas, has said officers of the Nigerian Armed Forces needs electoral education, as the 2023 general election draws near.
Namdas gave the advice at a two-day seminar in Abuja, organised for heads of security agencies, titled ”The role of security agencies in the electoral process.”
He stressed the need for security agents to be committed to the democratic processes by cooperating with other military personnel to enhance credible elections.
This is as the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, in his keynote address, said that there was a need to look into the role security played during elections.
He noted that the success and failure of every election depended on the professionalism of security operatives.
“Security is indispensable in the success of democracy. Security operatives are parts and parcel of what INEC does, and every aspect of elections in Nigeria involves security,” Prof Yakubu said.
During the event, the Chairman, House Committee on INEC and Electoral Matters, Hon Aisha Dukku, said elections could only be held in a transparent atmosphere where results reflected the votes cast.
The important role of the security personnel in midwifing true democracy can never be overemphasised,” Dukku said.
She stressed that security operatives who should participate in the conduct of elections must be professionals who are willing to grow democracy.
“Importantly, in my opinion, there are rules of engagement security agents must observe during elections, security operatives must understand the timetable for the conduct of each election as well as know the dramatis personae in every election. They must be able to identify the forms used in each election and be familiar with the purpose of each form,” she added.
Country Representative of Konrad Adenauer Stiftung, Marija Peran, also noted that the core role of the military was to first promote peace, which was only possible by enlightening them on what to expect.
She added that it was important for security personnel to exhibit neutrality during elections rather than being partisan to political parties.