By Olawale Ibrahim, Lokoja
Ahead of November 16 Governorship Election in Kogi State, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has trained securities agencies in the state as part of efforts to conduct free, fair and credible election.
The two – day training was organised for security personnel in Kogi State by the INEC in collaboration with European Centre for Electoral Support ECES in Okene , the Headquarters of Kogi Central Senatorial district on Tuesday.
The Facilitator, Mrs. Garba Sefia identified some of the factors both internal and external environments of the electoral process in Nigeria as elsewhere that impacts on electoral security.
According to her, the electoral security environment refers to the totality of factors embedded within INEC and outside INEC that determine or impact on electoral outcome .
Garba maintained that there are distinction between factors internal to electoral management body and those that are external to electoral management body.
“It is very important that that security agencies need to be aware of how the environment determines specific challenges in the electoral process that need to be factored into security of electoral process. While some of these environmental factors contribute to the success of elections ,others could be the sources of tension and even violence in the electoral process”, she stressed.
Garba who is also a certified trainer with INEC noted that Nigeria’s electoral environment has not been static since return to civil rule in 1999, adding that some changes that have taken place are positive ,others are not complimentary yo desire of Nigerians to conduct free and free and fair elections that can contribute to the consolidation of electoral democracy.
“On the other hand,high level of poverty ,illiteracy, unemployment continue to pose threats to democratic elections in the country, adding that the first past and the post system inherited from British colonial system continues to engender cut throat competitions in the electoral process,” the facilitator said .