Expert urges INEC to fortify security around facilities

A security expert, Dr Ona Ekhomu, has advised the
Independent National Electoral Commission to provide effective security
countermeasures at its facilities.

He urged INEC to conduct “robust vulnerability
assessments” of the facilities to identify and address loopholes with
appropriate physical security systems.

In a statement in Lagos on Thursday, Ekhomu, who is the
President of the Association of Industrial Security and Safety Operators of
Nigeria, condemned the destruction of INEC facilities and assets throughout the

He, however, noted that it was not in the interest
of INEC to play “victim” or engage in a “blame game,” adding that the body
should protect its mission, people, assets and information.

“The fact that about 42 offices of INEC have been
attacked in 14 states shows that the election agency has a huge reputation

“Boko Haram bombings of INEC facilities in Suleja,
Niger State, and in Maiduguri in 2011 were precursor events to the intentional
targeting of INEC,” he added.

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Ekhomu argued that protesters and terrorists were
borrowing from the “Boko Haram play book” to attack INEC facilities.

“Clearly, these insurgents are contesting the
legitimacy of our governments – national and sub-national. So, in their minds,
attacking INEC – a major symbol of Nigerian democracy and sovereignty – will
help them achieve their aims.”

Ekhomu said robust physical security measures were needed in each INEC facility with intrusion detection systems, video surveillance systems, fire alarm systems, and fire suppression systems complete with on-site water storage.


Post by: Chinyere Onyemachi

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