Security Experts Urge INEC to Disregard Calls to Delay Polls

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The Association of Licensed Private Security Practitioners of Nigeria (ALPSPN), on Friday cautioned against postponing the forthcoming general elections as has been demanded for in some quarters.

The ALPSPN, the umbrella body of all licensed private security providers in the country, in a press conference held in Lagos on Friday said any contemplated changes should be disregarded.

The National President of the association, Mr. Davidson Akhimien, said any contemplated changes to the election time-table should not be adhered to lest the electorate begin to suspect a sinister agenda that could raise unnecessary tensions.

He said, “As a body, we feel duty bound as a responsible and patriotic player in the great enterprise known as Nigeria, to contribute our quota to the success of the upcoming elections.

“This is by making our men available for security duties nationwide in partnership with all other government security agencies while giving valid suggestions, opinions and tips to all players in the election process.”

While commending the Professor Attahiru Jega led
Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Akhimien said it however notes with concern the commission is faced with to conduct credible elections in the North-east owing to insurgency.

They also called on INEC to redouble its efforts in the distribution of the Permanent Voters Card (PVC) to ensure that many Nigerians are not disenfranchised for this reason.

He said, “The position of INEC to continue distribution even to the eve of the elections is commendable and we suggest that if the Temporary Voters Card (TVC) can ameliorate any challenges, this should be considered.

“We say this as professionals in security since this will douse very unnecessary tensions in the elections build-up.”

The association also noted with dismay the escalating level of mudslinging and personalisation of issues among contestants for elective offices of the different parties.

He said, “This Association calls out to the political parties and their candidates to tone down the rhetoric and make a return to issue-based campaigns.

“We reiterate that election in Nigeria is not a Do-or-Die affair and that there is life after every election; a Nigeria that must move forward irrespective of whoever wins the election.

“Furthermore, the two political parties that enjoy the widest support across our great country are at this juncture enjoined to eschew inciting statements that will heat-up the polity and may snowball into electoral violence as witnessed in the last elections of 2011.”

Akhimien also encouraged security agents deployed on election duties to be extra- vigilant to curtail the activities of miscreants and political thugs that may have plans for ballot box-stuffing and votes manipulation.

The association also called on the electorate to concentrate on casting their vote and leave the polling area immediately to avoid political debates that may degenerate into any form of violence at the polling unit.

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