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Ahead of future elections, experts converge on Lagos to discuss security

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Image Credits: EPA/Tife Owolabi, OLAMIKAN GBEMIGA/AP.

Ahead of future elections, while awaiting the Nigerian President’s assent to the newly passed electoral bill, some experts in law, security and politics will converge in Lagos on Dec. 10 and Dec. 11 to discuss election challenges.

The experts will be discussing these challenges and aim to proffer solutions at the 14th Annual Security Conference and Investiture/Induction ceremony of the Institute of Security, Nigeria.

The two-day conference will have the theme: “Enhancing Integrity and Security Solutions to Election Threats and Political Violence in Democratic Environment”.

Nigerian soldiers patrol with an armoured vehicle in the city of Abuja, Nigeria, Saturday, Feb. 7, 2015. OLAMIKAN GBEMIGA/AP

The conference is designed to be a discourse between institutions and experts in the political, legal and security sectors.

The Director-General, Insitute of Security, Adebayo Akinnade, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that there was a need for security agencies to step up neutrality in order not to aggravate tension.

He said that the first step toward ensuring successful elections would be to improve security, which would involve strengthening the credibility of security agencies and others.

“Security arrangements for elections need to be improved and security personnel should be better trained and guided to ensure that they act appropriately and respect the rights and freedom of voters, election monitors and journalists. Agencies also need to develop better institutional arrangements to secure elections, particularly by improving the capacity to monitor and analyse threats,” he said.

Akinade said that the conference would seek to deal with both the legal and security implications of all the activities of stakeholders in election matters.

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According to him, the conference will also strive to provide clear insights into insecurity, election conflicts, political violence and the application of scientific and technological approaches to tackling challenges arising from elections.

The director-general added that striking a balance between legal, scientific and diplomatic processes and procedures relating to a broad spectrum of contemporary challenges in election matters would be discussed.

Akinade said that he was hopeful that the conference would stimulate creative, innovative and critical thinking to enhance election systems as well as tackle related challenges.

“This conference will also recognise the potential for capacity building, which will be borne out of sharing of ideas, lessons and other experiences among legal, political and security professionals. We seek to also assess the current situation of the election system and architecture with a view to identifying the gaps and overlaps between various architectural elements, to proffer solutions to security threats. We will also examine how security and technology can help to respond to emerging or evolving security threats in election management,” Akinade said.

According to him, keynote speakers at the event will include the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Lagos ( UNILAG), Prof. Oluwatoyin Ogundipe, and Oba Semiu Kasali of Igbogbo Kingdom in Ikorodu, Lagos State.

He said that the others would include Mr Adegboyega Bajulaiye, General Manager, Lagos State Law Enforcement Training Institute, and a Professor of Public Law, Ayodele Atsenuwa, who is also Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Development Services) of UNILAG.

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