- Comrade Ezenwa Nwagwu is concerned about the downplaying of crimes committed during elections in Nigeria
- The foremost anti-corruption campaigner warned that Nigerians attitude to elections makes a mockery of the country's electioneering process
- Nwagwu also condemned the Nigeria Police Force attitude to elections
Comrade Ezenwa Nwagwu has stated that Nigerians attitude to elections has something to do with the kind of security positioning that eventually happens “because election crimes are trivialized.”
Nwagwu, the executive director of Peering Advocacy and Advancement Centre in Africa and chairman, Partners for Electoral Reforms in Nigeria, made the comment when he appeared on a Channels Television programme, Politics Today, on Thursday, September 3.
Responding to fake policemen as an election security problem, Nwagwu stated that it’s an indictment on security agencies if they are unable to fish out those perpetrating crimes committed during elections.
“We make a mockery of ourselves and bring shame on our collective reputation as a people in the eyes of the international community. When the bad eggs among the security agencies commit a crime, they deny them and call them fake police.
“If the police can make that kind of statement, it simply means that our country can be overrun. How come we have fake police only during elections in that large number?” he queried.
He advised that the defensive form of public relations employed by public agencies in Nigeria should be addressed, adding that the Nigeria Police Force should always take responsibility for crimes committed by policemen instead of making excuses.
He also recommended strengthened coordination and more information sharing among security agencies.
“Again, the leading civil policing authority, which is the Nigeria Police Force have the responsibility to up their game, and professionals should ensure that the deployment that is carried out is not just on paper but real people in communities,” he stated.
On the press statement from the Inspector General’s office asking commissioners of police to mop-up arms ahead of the Edo and Ondo state elections, Nwagwu said that the template for the text of the press conference seems to have been written ahead of time.
“It appears that there are already excuses which will be provided. Elections cycles in Nigeria are not new, there are no new issues that are thrown up, hence, security agencies in Edo, Ondo and other states elections will subsequently be held have a responsibility to be proactive,” Nwagwu said.
Legit.ng had previously reported that the Inspector-General of Police, IGP Mohammed Adamu, ordered commissioners of police across the country to immediately initiate appropriate actions to identify, isolate, disarm, arrest and prosecute any individual(s) or group(s) in possession of prohibited firearms.
The IGP said those arming themselves with prohibited firearms and weapons in contravention of the provisions of the Firearms Act, will pose a serious threat to national security if left unchecked.
“The directive has become necessary against the backdrop of the deliberate arming and movement of political thugs and other criminal elements across the country,” Police spokesman, Frank Mba said in a statement.
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