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The Rivers State Commandant of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, Michael Besong Ogar FCAI has reiterated on the need for the officers and men to adhere with the Election duty operational rules, the Corps Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) and the provisions of the Electoral Act 2022 as they would be deployed for the upcoming General Elections.

Commandant Ogar made this known while addressing the Senior Management Staff Officers, Area Commanders and Divisional Officers during a-day Seminar on “Election Violence Prevention in Rivers State” which was organized in partnership with the Community Initiative for Enhanced Peace and Development (CIEPD). 

” The need to provide adequate security and ensure peace in the coming elections has become very imperative to us; the federal government has saddled the Corps with the mandate of Safeguarding the Critical National Assets and Infrastructures and protection of the lives and property of the citizens at large. We cannot afford to fail; your conduct while dealing with civilians must be in strict adherence to the Corps Standard Operating Procedures, there is no room for accidental discharge because the Rifles you bare were bought with tax payers money; You must be professional while carrying out your duty even in the face of provocation” 

” In addition, let me warn you ahead of time that infringement on the fundamental human rights of the citizens or any act of brutality would attract severe sanctions. Whoever is caught would be dismissed and handed over to Court for prosecution. Electoral violence could be prevented when there are no compromise within and without, the civil populace are to exercise their franchise without disregard for the provisions of the Electoral Act while the officers on duty must also shun overzealousness and any action that would trigger violence of any sort”

The Executive Director, Community Initiative for Enhanced Peace and Development (CIEPD) Mrs Egondu Esinwoke-Ogbalor during her lecture elaborated on the factors necessitating electoral violence prevention; she noted that early warning signs, show of force, prompt Intelligence sharing and other proactive measures would enhance prevention of violence rather than resolution among parties involved after violence had occured.

” Our NGO is majorly concern with the prevention of chaos or violence during election knowing fully well that it is possible to shun violence when people consciously decides to take the right steps by seeing each other as brothers and fellow Nigerians. By Electoral Violence Prevention we mean that as Officers; you need to understand the behavioral attributes of people because not everyone would respect your appearance. It behoves you to act like a trained officer in order to ensure orderliness and maintenance of law and order in your area of responsibility. While preventing conflicts or violence there is no need to apportion blames or try to resolve issues but to de-escalate the conflict in order to avoid violence in the long run”

In her conclusive words, the CIEPD Executive Director further appreciated the State Commandant for the laudable steps taken to allow officers participate in training programs that would improve their knowledge and enhance their performance while discharging their statutory duties to the nation.





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