Incomplete prosecution of arrested suspects contribute to electoral violence in Nigeria, says Arase

The former Inspector General of Police, Dr Solomon Arase has identified incomplete prosecution of suspects arrested during elections, as one of the major factor that promotes electoral violence in Nigeria.

Penpushing reports that, Arase made this observation while delivering a paper at the Guild of Corporate Online Publishers (GOCOP) annual lecture series, held in Lagos, stressing that minimizing electoral violence is a major way forward.

The retired police boss pointed out that, there should be institutional synergy between the civil society, security agents and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to record and achieve success at every elections

‘Minimizing electoral violence is a major way forward. Electoral violence persists partly because the prosecution of suspects is hardly completed. Electoral violence may be attenuated on the basis of adoption of stricter rules and consequences’, he emphasised.

‘There should be institutional synergy. The ‘trinity’ of the civil society, security agents and the electoral body working for common purpose of public good can ensure that election are free, fair, credible and accord legitimacy to the government of the day, Arase added.

Penpushing further reports that, Arase who spoke on the theme, ‘Elections and the role of the Nigeria Police Force in the Electoral Process’, noted that, the conduct of most elections in Nigeria over time have been marred by acts of lawlessness, impunity, killings, assassination and wanton destruction of lives and properties.

‘The unending violence associated with Nigeria’s elections is a pointer to the systemic problems afflicting African cum Nigerian politics. This manifests mostly by the increasing voters’ apathy and disillusionment with conduct of elections in Nigeria, thereby questioning the preparedness and effectiveness of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) – to organize and conduct credible elections’, he stated

Penpushing also reports that, Arase explained that, general election day in Nigeria has to be one of the busiest for the Nigeria Police Force biggest operations undertaken by the Nigeria Police Force in terms of deployment of men and materials towards ensuring a peaceful conduct of elections.

The former Inspector General identified some of the functions as provision of security for officials of the election management body, provision of security for all materials that will be used for the conduct of the elections, the security of the accredited election observers and monitors is also the mandate of the Nigeria Police Force on election day.

Penpushing reports that, he added that, police duty in ensuring that there is adequate security for the electorate at the polling unit that is conducive for them to cast their ballots, arrest of electoral offenders, upon the conclusion of voting on the day of election, and personnel of the Nigeria Police Force are equally responsible for escorting the electoral officials and the materials that were used in the election to the designated collation centre among others

‘It is pertinent to also mention that personnel of the Nigeria Police Force are equally involved in enforcement of movement restrictions, mounting or road blocks to ensure that there is no ease of movement by thugs and other violent groups with the motive to disrupt the election process;, he emphasised.

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