Election postponement: Security personnel suffer more — Experts

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Law enforcement agents were at the receiving end of the sudden postponement of the February 16 Presidential and National Assembly elections, according to security experts.

The experts told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in separate interviews in Lagos that security personnel deployed to various places outside their base ahead of the shifted polls were affected negatively.

According to the experts, personnel deployed on election duty may have exhusted their allowances, wondering how they will cope during the additional days on the field.

A retired Deputy Inspector-General of People (DIG), Marvel Akpoyibo, described the postponement as sabotage, stressing that the time and money lost would have been avoided if INEC had postponed the elections three days earlier.

He said the security personnel were at the receiving end of the postponement, noting that many were deployed outside their bases, thereby spending more money and time before elections days.

“I am not a politician but as a Nigerian, it is unacceptable to me. If it is in another clime, the INEC Chairman would be arrested. It is a sabotage.

“The security personnel deployed are at the receiving end, would they be given another allowance. Look at the NYSC members posted to various places, wasting money and time. It is most unfortunate,” he said.

Another security expert, Roy Okhidievbie, said although INEC might have taken unpopular decision of postponement, saying that might be the only option to the commission before elections.

Ohkidievbie noted, however, that the postponement might have disorganised security agencies’ strategies which would force them to re-strategise against the new election date.

He said that the postponement had also affected the politicians financially and strategically, stressing that the foiled exercise had exposed some of their evil intentions.

The expert said that it was better to postpone than to do it shabbily, stressing that the postponement had, once again, exposed our inability to be proactive and professional in handling responsibilities.

He noted that both major political parties and their followers have perfected legal and illegal strategies to win the elections on Saturday.

“One of the strongest weapons against crime is surprise. I am sure the illegal plans would have lost the effectiveness of a successful execution.

“I want to advise security agencies to review to plan B if they have one because the plans deployed on Saturday are already exposed.

“This will definitely reduce the number of voters due to the cost and risk of repositioning themselves to be able to vote again. Many will loose interest in the system.

“The government can afford to even borrow money for the logistics to meet the new dates, but who bears the cost on the part of the citizens and pay back their money spent to prepare to vote?

“Who compensates the masses of electorate for their losses in business closures. The contestants that had slim budgets and pushed to be recognized by expending all they could muster, what is their plight now,” he queried. (NAN)

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