ELECTORAL CHALLENGES IN NIGERIA
The history of conducting elections in Nigeria has not been a palatable one. Our elections have always been characterized with series of challenges, ranging from violence, malpractices, outright electoral frauds, assassinations e.t.c. This situation has remained so year in year out in every elections we conduct from time to time. The political actors i.e. our politicians have not been helping issues in the way and manner they conduct themselves during their campaigns and the elections proper.
Our electoral umpires who are expected to be upright in conducting free and fair elections have always compromised in their positions. The umpires had always succumbed to pressure from politicians to subvert the system through massive rigging or outright negligence of duty on their own part. Same goes with our security agencies, particularly the police who are always directly involved in checkmating violence and manipulation of the system by supporters of politicians involved in the electoral processes.
INVOLVEMENT OF SECURITY AGENCIES DURING ELECTIONS
Our security agencies, particularly the police as a civil force have always been involved in our electoral processes as they are saddled with the role of maintaining law and order during the elections. They are to assist the electoral commission officials to move around election materials from INEC offices to various voting locations. They are also to checkmate those who are deliberately out to perpetrate violence and election rigging. In carrying out these functions, they often encountered series of challenges. However some of them have also been seen to be compromising their position by been bribed to take side by the politicians who perpetrate rigging during the elections.
It is therefore imperative that as a nation we should be thinking of how we can change this negative attitude which is a smear on our image, by ensuring that those involved in this abuse of our electoral processes be they politicians or security agencies are properly monitored and exposed to face the wrath of the law. This is where an organization like the PAC/ATA can some in to offer their services as watchdogs that gather necessary information/intelligent and forward same to the appropriate quarters.
THE ROLE OF POLICE ASSISTANCE COMMITTEE IN ELECTIONEERING MATTERS:
The role of the Police Assistance Committee and its affiliates, Association of Tradesmen/women and Artisans cannot be overemphasized in this regard. Since our presence is in every part of the country, we are in a position to effectively monitor all actors involved in our electoral process, particularly those who are being used as thugs to snatch ballot boxes, and hired to carry out assassinations or all sort of violence before and during our election. As the election approaches we shall intensify on our series of seminar. Workshop to keep training our members including our states, zonal and unit co-coordinators on what they are expected to do before and during the elections which is to gather information and intelligent authorities.
Let me take this opportunity to call on all our security agencies-Armed Forces, The Police, DSS, SSS, Security and Civil Defense Corps e.t.c to continue to corporate with our members in the performance of their duties to keep assisting our security agencies through information and intelligent gathering.
Thank you all and God bless.
Long live the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Long live Police Assistance Committee.