By Zika Bobby
As part of its preparations for the 2023 general elections, the Nigeria Police Force has announced plans to offer a nationwide training of its officers and men on election security management, through a workshop to be done in collaboration with experts and other security agencies.
The Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Usman Alkali Baba, said the leadership of the police has kick-started targeted and specialised efforts to enhance the capacity of its officers to meet the force’s obligations in the national, inter-agency quest of ensuring a fair, peaceful, secure, and credible electoral process next year.
The IGP noted that the ‘Election Security Management Workshop’ slated for next month would feature sessions, led by legal and security experts, including top officers of the armed forces, to provide lessons on the legal and the security framework guiding the roles and actions of the police, and how to facilitate and maintain an inter-agency collaboration, including the media, to ensure a hitch-free election exercise.
The training forms part of the reform and upgrade agenda of the police boss to strengthen and build the capacity of the force, particularly as the country heads into an important election year during which incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari would hand over power to a newly-elected leader, following his completion of the constitutionally-permitted eight-year term.
Baba said the training would be held across the six geopolitical zones, and participants would, in turn, train their subordinates, causing a domino effect expected to raise policing quality and election management across the country.
“The training, which will be delivered in partnership with Solar Security and Consult Company Limited – a training consultancy company with vast experience in election security management, will be held across the six geopolitical zones of the country and will commence with the North-Central Zone on August 4, 2022, in Abuja.”
“Subsequently, other geopolitical zones will host the training, which is designed as a train-the-trainer programme. Your absolute cooperation is mandatory for the overall success of this initiative,” he said.
Some of the highlighted objectives of the training include, enhancing the knowledge of security agents on election security management; drawing on global best practices; facilitating a stronger inter-agency collaboration and orientation towards security governance during the 2023 general elections; ensuring adequate appreciation of peculiar election security threats and specific approaches towards managing them at the various stages of electoral process.
The training will also ensure a comprehension of the Electoral Act 2022 as amended; the Constitution and all other relevant statutes; the development of an election security management protocol template for future elections in Nigeria; the enhancement of political intelligence and electoral offences investigation capacity.