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INEC, in preparation for the November 11th gubernatorial election in Imo State, organised training sessions aimed at arming security personnel and vital stakeholders with the knowledge to recognise and counteract potential violence-triggering incidents.
The Commission conveyed this message at a one-day sensitisation workshop dedicated to Elections Risk Management. Participants included senior electoral officers, representatives from Civil Society Organisations, members of the Media, and security agencies within the state.
The venue for the workshop was Greatwood Hotels in Owerri, the capital city of Imo State, and it was organised under the auspices of the Imo State Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Prof. Sylvia Agu.
Speaking, Prof. Agu stressed on the importance of the workshop, adding that ‘proper sensitization and education of critical stakeholders are essential to conducting credible elections.’
The Imo INEC REC said, ‘as part of effort towards conducting credible elections, the Commnission found it necessary to bring together stakeholders in the electoral process, towards developing security architecture framework that could be helpful in mitigating internal and external factors.’
‘As such, the INEC office here in Owerri decided to come up with this workshop to develop mitigation strategies as well as expose the participants to the INEC electoral risk framework.’
Moreover, Prof. Agu called upon the participants to develop preemptive tactics for dealing with any potential violence or threats to the electoral process.
She added that, ‘security is a key component of the process and that the Commission is activating the Inter-agency Consultative Committee on Electoral Security (ICCESS) to provide necessary security support before and during the exercise.’
The workshop saw participation from a diverse range of organisations, including the Nigeria Civil Defence and Security Corps (NSCDC), Nigeria Police, Nigerian Army, Directorate of State Services (DSS), and the National Women’s Society Council of Nigeria (NCWS), among others.
In order to analyze distinctive risk factors and compile data and statistics for all 27 Local Government Areas (LGAs), the participants were grouped into the state’s three Senatorial Districts.
Among the topics explored were elections risk management (ERM) tools, the identification of risk factors and indicators, along with assessing risk levels, and the implementation of preventive measures within their respective Senatorial Districts.
Speaking to the press shortly after the workshop, a number of attendees conveyed their determination to partner with INEC, striving to achieve the utmost transparency, fairness, and credibility in the state’s history for the November 11th election.