Some security challenges created by politicians who promote divisive politics -Dambazau


Abdulrahman Dambazau, former chief of army staff, says some of the challenges around security in the country are creations of politicians.


He said this on Thursday at a conference organised by I Am Change, a civil society organisation (CSO).


The conference, themed ‘2023 Elections: Citizens Pre-Election Awareness and the Role of Stakeholders in Post-Election Stability’, was held at the Yaradua conference centre in Abuja.


Speaking at the event, Dambazau said he is confident that security agencies have done their homework on how to handle challenges during the elections.


 “The commander-in-chief of the armed forces has said it severally that all he wants is to ensure that there are free and fair elections and we cannot have free and fair elections if there is no adequate security,” Dambazau said.


“Some years back, our focus was on the north-east. Now, the focus is on the south-east and some parts of the south-east where you have banditry, kidnappings going on — but in particular, the south-east whereby the proscribed group IPOB has sworn that elections would not take place in that region.


“So, those are the kind of challenges that I’m sure security agencies must have done their homework very well in order to tackle that.


 “Some of these security challenges are creations of politicians themselves, because where you go for politics of ethnicity, politics of religion, politics of regionalism, those kind of politics are divisive and they tend to create tension among the electorate.


“And I think the politicians too should be able to look at that in the best interest of the country.


“There will be elections in 2023. I believe the elections will be free and fair as far as security is concerned and I believe the security agencies are ready to handle the security situation as much as possible.”


Speaking with TheCable at the conference, Hafsatu Shinkafi, founder of the CSO, commended the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for improving the electoral process over the years.


Shinkafi said the essence of organising the conference was part of the civil mandate of the CSO towards ensuring democratic values and dividends in the country as well as to create awareness on the participation of voters in the elections.


“I would like to commend INEC on the improvements that have been made especially on the technological front of things,” Shinkafi said.


“Like the introduction of the BVAS, it is an upgrade from the card reader. So, that’s something that is quite commendable and of help to voters.


“I would like to call on Nigerians to shun any voter apathy and come out to exercise your full fundamental right and realise what a privilege it is to be having this democratic system, because if you look back in our past, it was a right and freedom that was denied of us and we have to make full use of it.”

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