‘Citizen support for military, security agencies will ensure credible polls’ – New Telegraph
Emmanuel Onani, Abuja
Ahead of the 2023 general elections, citizens were urged to support military, intelligence and security agencies, with a view to ensuring successful, free and credible elections.
Pioneer Commander of the Nigerian Army School of Legal Studies, Brig-Gen. Godwin Anyalemechi (rtd), along with a retired State Director of State Services (DSS), Mr Mike Ejiofor, gave the accusation in separate telephone interviews with New Telegraph
While insisting that citizen support for security agencies was an obligation, retired military and intelligence officers encouraged the public to provide actionable and timely information to relevant security agents, in order to deprive troublemakers of freedom of action before, during and after the elections.
“I’m going to start like this: security is everyone’s job, everyone’s obligation, despite the fact that there are government agencies in charge, who are supposed to provide it, when you talk about the military, police, DSS and other civilian agencies,” Anyalemechi said.
According to him: “But, the citizens of the country are supposed to support these established agencies, to ensure security. The security you are talking about, more specifically, is them (the citizens).
“They are the ones hurting themselves. When you cause chaos, there will be food insecurity. There will be deprivation of personal liberty. Security is the most important function of government.
“The Nigerian public is expected to participate in the provision of security because security is for its own good.”
For his part, Ejiofor said, “Without the involvement and support of citizens, there is no way for security agencies to (operate). And it’s not just them alerting them or giving them information.
“The biggest challenge we have now, in the next election, which I think citizens need to be involved in, is vote buying. That’s the biggest challenge we face.
“So for us to have a credible election, citizens must be encouraged to vote according to their conscience and collect the money from them. Because if you don’t get the money back from them, they think you won’t vote for them. Collect the money from them and vote according to your conscience. This is the only way to have credible elections.
“Or, if you don’t want to collect, report this event to the security agencies. But I doubt that the security agencies can do anything in these circumstances.
“But by the time we arrest one or two people, thanks to information provided by members of the public, it will discourage other people from buying votes.”
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