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How do we protect our votes?

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The first round of elec   tions is less than a month away. Most Nigerians are more than ever determined to ensure that only those endorsed by them during the elections are returned as winners in the forthcoming elections.

Ahead of the decisive polls, Vanguard is inviting the general public to a discourse on the security of the voters’ mandate- HOW TO PROTECT YOUR VOTE. Readers are invited to make submissions and share different perspectives on how the sanctity of the ballot box can be sustained. Readers’ opinion on how to protect the vote should be addressed to
Readers opinion to be published indicating name, address and possibly political affiliation will be edited for clarity. -EDITOR

We need security

For votes to be protected and count in the forthcoming general elections, there should be enough security men and women at the Pooling booths. Security personnel must be impartial.

Jega, INEC boss

But, with the ways the ruling party is going now, I doubt credible, free and fair elections that Nigerians are yearning for in the country.

Enahoro Michael,
Opute House, Ozoro, Delta State.

Stay and watch till your vote is counted

One way to protect the vote is to stay after casting your until the winner is announced. Election officials and security agents in the past contributed to rigging. They didnt discharge their duty with fairness.. So this time around the electorate should stay by until the result is announced, recorded and passed to the collation centre.

Isa A. Abubakar
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Voters should be educated to guard their votes

The electorate should be educated to vote and remain at the polling booth through out till the end of the election. The votes should be counted at each polling unit and the result should be publicly announced immediately at the polling booth. The announced result should be signed by the party agents.

Don Mike

Use cameras to capture ballot snatchers

The issue of protecting our votes is on us alone as the politicians and the police will not do that for us. We should insist that the votes are counted in our various polling unit and resist any attempt to snatch the ballot box but if it gets too hot we can result to the use of our digital cameras to capture these activities. We must get it right this time around.

Egwu Ikechukwu Joseph
Amachi in Afikpo L.G.A, Ebonyi State.

Security men should be well paid and identified

It is humbly advised that the police men sent on election duties must be fully briefed by INEC. Proper allowances from INEC to be directly paid to these security agents must be available and paid directly and most importantly these police men must be fully identified with tags.

These tags must bear the names of these security operatives very clearly as well as their service numbers and the name of their polling units so as to be easily visible for every voter. These police men and women, it is advised, should be directly under the instruction of INEC officials and must have authority over all security issues in their polling units above that of even their superiors in the force.

Thus no other security agents should be permitted to come close to the polling units except to exercise their franchise. This strategy will help eliminate a situation where police men roam about freely on election days at the service of politicians and political office holders.

The idea should not be that these security agents should engage in shoot_out with invading ballot snatchers. They would only have to fill out an INEC security report form at the end of the polls which will be distributed to party agents and read to voters at the close of polls.

Where their reports show an infraction of the sanctity of the ballot box then INEC would verify from their staff and cancel the results from such polling units for fresh polls. Thus these security agents do not need to be armed to the teeth so as not have cases of ‘accidental’ killings by them.

Ebirim Okechukwu,
116, Association Avenue, Dolphin Estate, Ikoyi, Lagos

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