The Electoral Commission (EC) has outlined the task for security officers to perform on December 1, for the Special Voting and December 7 for the nationwide polls.
“On Election Day, security officers are to provide security cover for movement of election officials and materials,” the EC has stated in Guide to Voters,” manual.
The publication of the manual was captured under the “GNA Tracks Election 2016 Project”, funded by GOIL, the foremost indigenous oil marketing company.
“At least a security person is required to maintain order at a polling station and work under the directives of the presiding officer who is the ultimate authority at the polling station.
“It is the duty of the security officers to escort election materials to the polling stations, maintain law and order during polling, counting and escort results and other electrical materials to the collation centre,” the Commission stated.
The Commission added “the security officer is also required to ensure that all election materials are safe and secure. To this end, they must escort or guard the materials, where necessary.”
According to the EC, it is also the responsibility of the security officer to maintain law and order at a collation centre.
The security officers are also mandated to ensure that the queue of voters is orderly, take all necessary measures to prevent violence or any activity that threatens the safe conduct of the election.
The Security Officer is to carry out lawful instructions from the presiding officer or returning officer or a senior officer of the Electoral Commission in relation to the arrest of persons who violate the law, stand at the end of the queue, if any, at 17:00 hours to ensure that no person enters the queue after close of polls.
The EC explained that it is the responsibility of security personnel to keep special voting Ballot Boxes and their contents which are deposited with them, safe till after the close of voting on election day.
Security Officers are also to ensure that candidates, political party members, observers and voters in general, have the right to equal security with respect to lives and property.
The Commission warned security personnel not to take part in the actual administration of the elections.
“Security Officers are forbidden from checking the ID cards of the voters, take part in the counting of the votes, harass or intimidate any candidate or voters, assist any person to vote or tell any voter who to vote for and do anything that would suggest that they favour a particular party or candidate,” the EC stated.
The GNA Tracks Election 2016 project seeks to sensitise the electorate on the various issues raised by political parties, the elections management body and other governance institutions.
It aims at ensuring gender and social inclusion in national politics and to provide a voice for the youth, vulnerable groups, opinion leaders and the broader spectrum of the society, and to contribute to the achievement of peaceful polls.
Another objective of the project is to create a platform to dissect the manifestoes of all political parties and provide in-depth analysis of each thematic area to the electorate to enable them to make an informed judgment.