US Expresses Concern over Neutrality of Security Agencies During Elections

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The United States has raised concern over the handling of security in the elections, starting in February.

A representative of the US embassy in Nigeria, David Young, said this wednesday during a meeting with officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) at the commission’s headquarters in Abuja.

“One of the concerns is about the neutrality of the security services. For us, it is very important that the security services provide for the election security, the safety of the process of the election in a way that doesn’t interfere with people getting to the polls, civil society monitors, election observers who have access to observe the process freely,” he said.

He said the US government is supporting INEC and the work it is doing.

He also added that he hoped that Mohammed Adamu the new Inspector General of police (IG), would cooperate and give the necessary support.

On the other hand, European Union (EU) Ambassador to Nigeria, Ketil Karlsen, said the EU was meeting with INEC to get updates on the preparations for the election.

“Our only real mission here is for Nigeria to succeed in having fee, fair transparent and credible elections,” he said.

“We want to be briefed by you on the preparation for the election. We already have long term observers.”

British high commissioner to Nigeria, Catriona Laing, also said they will support INEC to deliver credible election.

INEC chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, responded that the electoral body will not disappoint the international community.

“We have concluded and published the guideline, we have finalised the manual for the election to be used for training staff for the election. We are recruiting as hoc staff and will soon start training them. We are aware the election is going to be an intense media event,” he said.