The chairman of the Independent National Election Commission, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, has said that the commission lacked the power to force any electoral candidate to attend a debate.
Yakubu made this known on Thursday during the quarterly consultative meeting with media executives in Abuja.
According to Yakubu, debates are democratic rights and cannot be forced on any candidate, adding that there were, however, “unspoken consequences” for those who failed to attend, Guardian reported.
He said, “I am not sure we can compel someone to attend the debate. You cannot do that. Even in most advanced countries, you can’t compel someone to do anything in a democracy. Debate, just like voting, is a democratic right. We know debates are to make citizens be better informed.
“However, there is an unspoken consequence for candidates not participating. I also understand that some candidates prefer not to attend in order to avoid making mistakes that would drive voters from them.
“We are, however, happy with the job the election debate group is doing. The effort of the media in this aspect should be supported, but they should also be non-partisan.
“Many political parties have come to complain to us that they are not invited to debate. In 2019, we have over 70 presidential candidates and now we have 18.
“I know it will be difficult to take all over the along but we should try to accommodate them.”
Any Nigerian Can Initiate Arrest, Says FPRO Adejobi
The Force Public Relations Officer, ACP Olumuyiwa Adejobi, has said that every Nigerian citizen is mandated by law to initiate an arrest if they notice a crime being committed anywhere.
Adejobi made the revelation while speaking as a panelist during the panel session at the 2023 National Security Conference of the National Association of Online Security News Publishers (NAOSNP) with the theme “Proliferation of Lethal Weapon As Security Threat: Arm-Full, Harm-full to New Dispensation’ held on Thursday in Lagos.
The FPRO, who represented the Inspector General of Police, Kayode Egbetokun, leveraged on Section 12 of the Criminal Code, to buttress his point, saying it empowers individual Nigerians to initiate arrest, and hand over to the Police, adding that initiating the arrest does not include beating up a suspect, mobbing or lynching.
He added however, that the difference between the regular citizens and security agencies is one does not bear arms while the other does, while reiterating that whoever wishes to own or possess weapons must have them licensed by the appropriate government agency or will be seen to have run foul of the law, and made to face and bear the full weight of the law.
“The law empowers the military personnel, and other law enforcement agencies to bear arms, but it’s however, frightening to see many individuals in possession of arms without being licensed by the relevant authority,” he said.
Arase Hails Tinubu on Approval of Recruitment of 30,000 New Personnel
The Chairman, Police Service Commission, Mr. Solomon Arase, has hailed President Bola Tinubu for approving the recruitment of 30,000 new personnel into the Nigeria Police Force. He said the gesture will help not only in sustaining peace and security,but also check the proliferation of small arms and lethal weapons, which has been the bane of safety in the nation.
Mr. Arase, who was represented by AIG Ade Shinaba, made the remarks while speaking as the special guest of honour at the 2023 National Association of Online Security News Publishers (NAOSNP) National Security Conference at the Civic Centre, Victoria Island, Lagos, said the president has set the pace in setting security on the right path and the enlargement of the force will go a long way in checking the proliferation of Lethal weapons and small arms in the country.
We’ll Continue to Ensure Protection of Critical Assets, NSCDC Boss Tells Katsina Gov
The Commandant General (CG) of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Dr Ahmed Abubakar Audi, has said that the Corps will continue to ensure security of lives and protection of critical national assets and Infrastructure in Katsina state.
The National Public Relations Officer of the Corps, CSC Babawale Afolabi, in a statement made available to the National Association of Online Security News Publishers (NAOSNP), said the Commandant General gave the assurance when he played host to the Executive Governor of Katsina State, Dikko Umar Radda, at the Corps’ National Headquarters, Abuja on Tuesday.
He said that effective security is sacrosanct to the Corps and strategies are constantly being deployed to ensure that criminality is reduced drastically.
He assured the Governor and the good people of Katsina state of the Corps’ commitment to curbing insecurity by employing both kinetic and non-kinetic approaches to achieving results.
“I understand that Katsina State had experienced some bandit attacks in the last couple of years.
“Its vulnerability which is partly due to its big size and geographical location as a state bordering other states in the North and the Niger Republic is of great concern.
“But be rest assured that with the on-going recruitment in the Corps, more men would be deployed to Katsina to strengthen security in the state,” the CG hinted.
He reiterates that insecurity in the country took an asymmetric form almost two decades ago and it must not be allowed to spread further.
The Corps helmsman called on State Governors who are the chief security officers of their various states to adopt more robust and inclusive approaches in stepping up security.
According to Dr Audi, state governments have greater roles to play in providing maximum support that will help in curbing attacks and criminalities in states.
“Sometimes, these bandits come out from their hiding, hit a target and run back to hiding; leaving a devastating effect on both lives and property.
“We have our Special Forces and with scientific collaborations with other security agencies, the attacks will come to an end very soon.
“No single agency can tackle insecurity, hence, the need for a more inclusive operational strategy to end the menace,” CG said.
The CG commended the Governor for the proactive steps taken in the right direction to secure his people and assured of the Corps’ readiness to collaborate effectively with Katsina State Government in the fight against banditry, vandalism and economic sabotage in the state.
Responding, the Katsina State Governor stated that his visit was to further solidify the existing cordial relationship between the Corps and Katsina State Government.
“You have have been very supportive in addressing the issues of insecurity disturbing our people.
“Katsina is one of the states suffering from bandit attacks and other forms of criminalities.
“I have therefore come to solicit for more cooperation and to see how we can collaborate in bringing peace to our state,” he said.
The Governor lamented the inadequate number of personnel across security services which has impeded the expected success in the fight against insecurity.
He explained that the state has trained and engaged the service of about one thousand five hundred (1,500) indigenes to assist the conventional security agencies in the state.
“I believe with the engagement of the locals in the form of civilian Joint Task Force (JTF), combined with the conventional security, we will go a long way in combating insecurity and reduce it to the barest minimum,” the Governor said.