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* Calls For Improved Collaboration, Partnership With Security Agencies

By Kingsley Okoro (Crime/Police Affairs Reporter)

The Inspector-General of Police, Muhammed Adamu, has called for improved collaboration and support from Civil Society Groups in the country as the Force plans and executes strategies toward the successful conduct of the September 19 and October 10 Edo and Ondo Gubernatorial Elections respectively.

The IGP made the call during a one-day interactive session with conveners/representatives of the various Civil Society Organizations, today, 31st August, 2020 at the Force Headquarters, Abuja.

The Police boss, while observing that Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) play critical roles in the electioneering processes and general sustenance of democracy in Nigeria, noted that the meeting became necessary as part of ongoing efforts by the Force leadership to galvanize critical stakeholders to share knowledge, compare notes and experience on the conduct of elections in the country.

The meeting also availed the Force the opportunity to obtain inputs from the CSOs towards engendering robust strategies to address identified threats and emerging trends as revealed in the Election Security Threat Assessment Reports conducted by the Force in Edo and Ondo States.

The CSOs, on their part, pledged support for the Police and other agencies involved in election security management in the country. They commended the IGP for the existing cordial relationship between the Police and the CSOs and also for his quick responses to issues bordering on human rights abuses, sexual and gender based violence etc.

They particularly commended the Police for the prompt arrest of suspects involved in the gruesome rape and murder of Miss Vera Uwaila in Edo State. They however called for transparency and impartiality by security agencies in the elections.

Meanwhile, the IGP assured the CSOs that the Force will be neutral, apolitical and will provide a level playing ground for all in the elections. He further assured the CSOs of adequate security and enjoined them to assist the Police in identifying impostors who may want to hide under the umbrella of accredited CSOs to foment trouble during the elections.

Also in attendance at the meeting were: the Police Management Team, Clement Nwankwo (Convener) – PLAC; Esther Uzoma (Alternate Convener) – PGI; Auwal Musa Rafsanjani, -CISLAC; Idayat Hassan – CDD; Cynthia Mbamalu – YIAGA; Mma Odi – ACE; Chigozirim Okoro – CLEEN; Mufuliat Finjabi – WTF; Agianpe Onyema, Situation Room; Akwu Ogbadu - Situation Room; Val Ahmadu – PWAN; Oludare Kehinde – PLAC amongst other members of the Civil Society Community. NNL.

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