From Joseph Amedu, Lokoja
The Resident Electoral Commissioner(REC) in Kogi State, Prof. James Apam, has asked security agencies to increase the number of personnel that would be posted out to monitor the November 16 governorship polls in the state.
Apam made the call on Wednesday while declaring open a three-day training programme for the security personnel ahead of the forthcoming governorship election in the state.
He said the duty of security personnel on the election day was not limited to providing security for the electorates and election materials, but that they also have a duty to protect INEC staff.
He explained that there were cases where some ad hoc staff, particularly some corps members, were attacked while some even lost their lives.
The REC said, “As a result, there is the need to increase the number of personnel to prevent reoccurrence of such ugly incidents.”
The INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, who was represented by the National Commissioner in charge of Kogi State, Prof. Mohammed Haruna, said the commission considered security as a key component of the electoral process.
He said there had been improvement in the electoral policies particularly in the area of security.
He said the essence of the collaboration with different agencies was to be proactive in identifying risk factors and mitigating them.
He said, “Many of the reforms and innovations in the electoral process of the commission have been radically different from what many of us used to know.”
He called on all stakeholders particularly the security personnel that would protect the process, to get themselves familiar with the measures and be aware of the developments.