Kano CP tasks law enforcement agencies on neutrality, professionalism during elections

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The Commissioner of Police in Kano State, Mr Usaini Gumel, has urged other law enforcement agencies to maintain neutrality, uphold professionalism and guarantee the safety and security of citizens during elections.

Gumel made the call in a paper titled: “Democracy: The travails Of Nigeria’s electoral process in the Fourth Republic.”

He presented the paper at the Annual Aminu Kano Symposium held at Mambayya House, Kano, former residence of renowned politician, late Malam Aminu Kano.

“As the Commissioner of Police of the Kano Police Command, I urge fellow law enforcement agencies to maintain neutrality, uphold professionalism and guarantee the safety and security of all citizens during elections.

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“We must work tirelessly to prevent electoral violence, investigate electoral offences, and ensure that perpetrators are brought to justice,” he said.

He also said that the travails of Nigeria’s electoral process in the Fourth Republic underscored the urgent need for reforms that would strengthen democratic institutions, promote electoral integrity and restore confidence in the electoral system.

The commissioner stated that by upholding the values of democracy and the rule of law, “we can steer our nation towards a future where the voice of the people truly shapes the course of governance”.

He said Nigeria as a nation, had made significant strides in transitioning to democratic governance, yet, the prevalence of electoral irregularities, political violence, vote-buying, and other malpractice eroded public trust in the electoral system.

This, coupled with the phenomenon of judicial interventions in electoral disputes, Gumel said, had led to a growing perception of courts wielding more influence than voters in shaping political leadership.

“For democracy to thrive in Nigeria, it is imperative that the electoral process upholds the principles of transparency, fairness, and accountability.

“Political actors, electoral bodies, security agencies and the judiciary, all have crucial roles to play in ensuring free, fair and credible elections that truly reflect the will of the people,” he said.

Gumel further stated that while free and fair election were the hallmark of a democratic system, election malpractice and violence had been regarded as obstacles to the consolidation of democratic institutions.

He said this made security matters very crucial in all the phases of electoral process, including the pre-electoral, electoral, and post-electoral phases.

He said the role of the security agencies was to safeguard the electoral environment and electoral process.

For this reason, the security agencies were exposed to the machinations of political actors, he said.

“To optimize the role of security agencies, an Inter-agency Consultative Committee on Election Security (ICCES) was established in Nigeria before the 2011 General Elections.

It established the code of conduct and rules of engagement for the security agencies before, during and after elections.

“With this, all security men and women on electoral duty now have a common standard of reference for their actions,” the commissioner added. (NAN)

By Aminu Garko

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