Zamfara State Police Commissioner Yusuf Kolo alongside other security heads met with the leadership of political parties to sign peace accord ahead of the February 2023 general elections.
The exercise which was conducted at the Teacher Training Center Gusau on Tuesday said, the exercise is planned to under the Inter Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security (ICCES).
“I am delighted to welcome you to this crucial meeting, which is the first in the series of engagement to be planned by Inter-Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security (ICCES) in Zamfara State”.
The police commissioner said, the meeting is aimed at stimulating healthy interaction and mutual discussion on matters relating to the security and overall conduct of the February 2023 General Elections.
He said the Inter-Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security (ICCES) is an ad-hoc Committee of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) made up of the Nigeria Police, Department of Security Services, Nigerian Security and Civil Defense Corps, Federal Road Safety Corps, Nigerian Immigration Service, Nigeria Drug Law Enforcement Agency, Nigerian Correctional Service, Nigerian Custom Service, National Orientation Agency and the Military under the auspices of INEC in the State.
He noted that one of the complex and fundamental chains in the success and credibility of the electoral processes is election security.
He further noted that the first challenge of Inter-Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security (ICCES) is the proper mapping out of electoral constituencies for purposes of providing adequate security.
He noted that, the committee is the clearing house on election security matters engendered by the need to pull security assets together for efficient and effective deployment and management during the forthcoming electielection
“On behalf of my colleagues, I wish to welcome you to this peace signing accord by Political parties, and assure you of the committee’s commitment and determination to create a conducive atmosphere for free, fair, credible and non-violent election come February 2023”.
“Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, let us remind ourselves, that good leadership and governance stem from the credibility of the emergence process. We shall not allow the process to be contaminated and tainted with thuggery, brigandage, and violence”.
“The involvement of quasi-security outfits during campaigns/rallies and other electoral processes is hereby banned. Also, the use of firearms and other offensive weapons remained prohibited, as infractions will obviously be visited with consequences”.
“By signing the peace accord, we expect all Political Parties to campaign peacefully and adhere to guidelines of Electoral Act 2022 as amended. You are further advised to always inform the Police and other Security Agencies of your campaigns/rallies as scheduled”.
“This will not only enable adequate security coverage to be provided, but will reduce the incidences of having two political parties campaigning in the same location at the same time”.
Functions of Inter-Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security (ICCES) are to: “Coordinate the desired elections’ security management system for ININEC”.
Other functions include envelop locally focused plans for providing security before, during and after elections. He further said it includes the training, development and actions of security personnel on election duty.
He added that the committee has function to assess existing security threats across the State that have implication for elections and provide a red, amber, and green electoral security map for the state, which will be regularly updated.
According to CP Kolo the committee has the power to advise INEC on rapid response to security threats around elections, including voter registration.
Other Strategic focus of the committee in the coming months shall include but not limited to the following, provide adequate security coverage to all Political Parties during their rallies/campaigns.
Others are to encourage continuous engagement and dialogue that will promote healthy competition and mitigate against communication challenges, envelop and implement a transparent robust security platform to police the 3529 Polling Units scattered in 147 wards of the 14 LGA’s of the State during the February 2023 elections.
Encourage an effective feedback system from the stakeholders that will continuously lead to positive improvement in our deployment profile.
The Police Commissioner assure on behalf of other stakeholders that the committee will remain neutral, fair to all and firm on matters that deviate from the rules of the game and receptive to genuine complaints.
“It is my hope that collectively, we shall deliver a free, fair, credible and non-violent before, during and after the election for the people of Zamfara State and Nigeria”.
Also, the INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner Zamfara state Professor Saeed Ahmad Babura in his remark called on political parties and their candidates to always conduct their activities in line with the provision of the Electoral Act.
He commended the CP and other members of ICCES for taking proactive measures to ensure peaceful conduct of all political processes ahead of forthcoming 2023 Elections.
After the interactive session between the ICCES and the political parties, a peace accord was signed by state party chairmen and the Governorship candidates.