Security stakeholders in Nigeria Wednesday called for the deployment of private security guards for election duties following the rise in election-related violence ahead of the 2023 general elections.
They spoke in Abuja during the National Stakeholders Forum on Private Security and the 2023 Elections in Nigeria.
They said the over four million private security guards in the country were well trained to help curb violence before, during and after the general elections.
Declaring the event open, the Commandant-General of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Ahmed Audi, said the private security guards could assist the county in conducting free, fair and credible elections if assigned.
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Audi, represented by the Assistant Commandant-General in charge of private guards, Ferdinand Esiegwu, said the shortage of government’s security personnel as a result of insecurity across the country necessitated the call for the drafting of private security guards into the election security architecture.
“Electoral law forbids arms at the polling units, therefore, operatives of the private security could be used for polling unit duties to free some of the government-paid agencies to provide better security around the polling units and other areas in the country,” he said.
President, Licensed Private Security Practitioners of Nigeria (ALPSPN), Chris Adigwu, said private guards could provide intelligence and technology that could be used to monitor the election process and detect any potential threats.
Founder, African Law Foundation, Okereke Chinwike, said Nigeria could not afford to leave private guards behind in active engagement in election security in Nigeria.