The Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Mahmood Yakubu has blamed election thuggery on the failure of the Nigeria Police and other security agencies to deal decisively with thugs during elections.
Yakubu who spoke on Friday in Abuja at the expanded meeting of the Inter-Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security (ICCE) told the head of security agencies that the sole purpose of security deployment during elections is to safeguard and protect the integrity of the electoral process but that has not been the case.
“No thugs and hoodlums can be more powerful than the Nigeria Police and other security agencies. It is the failure to act decisively and collaboratively that encourages thuggery and serves as an incentive for bad behaviour.
“…There is emphasis on numbers of security personnel but less on synergy, coordination and collaboration among the various security agencies in line with the purpose for which ICCES was established in the first instance” Yakubu stated.
He said the failure of the security agencies left voters, election officials, party agents, observers and the media, open to attacks by thugs and hoodlums. The INEC Chairman said starting with the rerun elections holding in January that a different approach must be adopted.
On the the presence of the Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu and the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), Prof. Bolaji Owasanoye, at the meeting Yakubu said it was due to concerns expressed on the illegal deployment of funds to influence the outcome of the elections by politicians.