An expert on defense and security, Bala Abdullahi Husaini had called on the federal government to allow for the recruitment of more personnel into the security system and adequately train them to help ensure that the coming elections are free, fair and credible.
Husaini spoke when he appeared as guest on Atlantic Television Network (ATN) Society Watch, a television programme monitored by our correspondent. He spoke against the backdrop of the workshop organised by The Electoral Institute(TEI) in line with guidelines for the conduct of elections by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC which was aimed at validating documents that will assist security Agencies to ensure professionalism, and secured environment for free, fair, credible and inclusive elections.
The documents to be validated, include; the Electoral Security Personnel (ESP) Training Manual, the Electoral Security Personnel (ESP) Training Facilitators Guide,the Electoral Security (ESP) Handbook and the Basic Security in Election Duty (BaSED) Handbook.
Husaini said, the review of the said documents was long over due, because, there are a lot of lacunas that need to be checked in other to strengthen the security systems in Nigeria.
He said, "This is long over due. Even the Nigerian defense policy needs to be reviewed from page one to the last page. There are a lot of lacunas in it. The review can help in addressing other security structures, formations in the country and that can also go a long way in assisting the coming elections .
"However, if the government of Nigeria can be able to recruit new security personnel, it will go a long way in assisting the other sister agencies and even the general elections. The point is, there are a lot of people every year that usually go on retirement within the security system, and some portion of these security formations, were deployed to protect the VIPs, some are in the admin, some are engaging unscrupulous elements in the country like, the bandits , Boko Haram, IPOB, and what have you.
"Only a few number of them are going to participate in this general elections and Nigeria with more than 200million population with less than 300,000 security personnel and a good number of them have been deployed to other strategic areas. The remaining ones are the ones to conduct election."
Husaini however, expressed hope that, if the necessary steps are taken, the elections will be conducted in a free, fair and credible manner. He called on the government to ensure massive recruitment and training to ensure a hitchfree exercise in the coming elections.
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