Ahead of the 2019 Nigerian general elections; Nigerian security agencies and Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) dedicated to enhancing citizens’ participation and improving security governance in Nigeria have reassured that security agencies were adequately prepared to ensure hitch free elections, according to a public statement by Partners West Africa Nigeria (PWAN).
The public statement which was issued at the end of a quarterly inter-agency coordination meeting for security agencies, oversight bodies and CSOs; which was convened by the Rule of Law and Empowerment Initiative otherwise known as Partners West Africa Nigeria (PWAN). Participants at the meeting included the Nigerian Police Force (NPF); Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC); the armed forces; National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) and the Police Service Commission (PSC).
The statement noted that the safety of all citizens, observers and participants was guaranteed before, during and after the 2019 elections by the security agencies. “Citizens are therefore encouraged to go out and exercise their franchise peacefully and in obedience to the rule of law,” the statement said.
Nigerian elections had always been characterized by electoral malpractices and violence; however, the security agencies reiterated their commitments toward ensuring that all participants had a safe space to operate during the forthcoming elections. Consequently, electorates were strongly advised to “desist from spreading fake news, expressing hate speech, and/or indulging in vote buying and other actions that can jeopardize the safe conduct of the elections.”
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“All leaders in Nigeria are strongly advised to be nationalistic in their engagements with people and are encouraged to focus on love, tolerance, peace, progress and unity at all times. As a nation we must always put national interest above individual interest and together, build a strong democratic society,” the statement concluded.