By Justina Auta
Mrs Pauline Tallen, Minister of Women Affairs, has urged the various security agencies to mobilise and deploy female personnel towards actualising a safe, violence-free and fair 2023 elections.
Tallen made the call at the third annual forum of the Women, Peace And Security Sector Reference Group, with a theme: “The role of female security personnel in the 2023 general election” on Tuesday in Abuja.
According to her, the theme is in recognition of the role female security personnel play in promoting free and fair elections as well as ensuring violence-free voting environment which will encourage increased women political participation.
She said the forum was another milestone to actualise the goal of the Women, Peace and Security Agenda in Nigeria.
“In a few weeks from now, we will witness major changes in the governance structure of the country, as Nigerians prepare to elect their new leaders.
“The question is how prepared are we to forestall any incidence of electoral violence that has hitherto surrounded the Nigerian elections and which has also constantly scared many women from fully participating.
“I am confident that our heightened advocacy around the involvement of more female security personnel, either as observers or as law and order enforcers, would go a long way to ensure that our forth coming general elections more than ever are free and fair.
“Dialogue and mediation are parts of the most integral aspects of peace processes and as women, we possess the natural soft skills to achieve this.
“I wish to once again stress the need for female security personnel to be fully mobilised and deployed to utilise their potential in overseeing the forthcoming general elections towards actualising a safe, free and fair elections,” she said.
Tallen also implored the public to support and vote for women vying for various political positions to enable Nigeria to restore its lost glory.
“I implore all well-meaning Nigerians to endeavour to support and vote women vying for political positions as I am very optimistic that if more women are being elected into strategic positions, Nigeria’s lost glory will surely be restored, ” she said.
UN Women Country Representative to Nigeria and ECOWAS, Ms Beatrice Eyong, said the resolution was adopted because of the significant role women played in politics.
Similarly, the Commandant General, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Dr Ahmed Abubakar-Audi, emphasised the role women played in peace and security of any country.
Abubakar-Audi, represented by Dr Nnamdi Nwanyi, Deputy Commandant, in charge of crisis management reiterated their commitment towards protecting citizens from violence, ensuring peace and security.
Also, the British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Ms Catriona Laing, stressed the need for collaboration from all stakeholders to ensure smooth conduct of 2023 general elections.
The Inspector-General of Police, Usman Alkali Baba, represented by AIG Aisha Abubakar, said special trainings for personnel were on going towards the fourth coming elections. (NAN)