How to ensure your Security and Safety During the Political Campaigns

After all said and done, the golden rule is safety first!

Ojong is a 22-year-old Crossriverian who believes in the true nature of result-oriented democracy. After rallying his friends and ward members to register, and collect their Permanent Voters Card (PVC), he went as far as ensuring that they voted during the elections on election day. During result collation at the various polling units, three heavily armed men arrived at the scene, shot sporadically, and attempted escape with the ballot boxes.

As Ojong would not bare such gross unpatriotic action against a democracy he so cherishes, he objected and held the hand of one of the rogues “keep this ballot boxes my friend”, he scolded. The next sound was a gunshot; Ojong was lying flat on the floor, blood gushing through his mouth. The gang of villains made away with the ballot boxes to whoever sent them. 

Alas! Ojong fought for a democracy he did not live to see, or enjoy. Surely, the idea of election safety during rallies, campaigns, and processes cannot be overemphasized. One must ensure safety first!

The Nigerian Police Force, Civil Defence, and Military will surely be deployed, but mind you, your best security is yourself. You can best secure yourself more than anyone else. Therefore, as the political campaigns draw closer day by day, keep your guard, and be security conscious.

However, below are some useful tips that can help you ensure maximum safety and security as the political season booms;

Useful tips for individuals:

  1. Stay up to date: One of the ways to be security conscious during election time is to always stay abreast with issues. Don’t be a lone ranger, pay attention to the news making the rounds.
  2. Be civil: Also, If after the elections your candidate wins, then it is important that you celebrate in a civil manner. It is no time to begin to paint the town red in a lavish style. Remember, that some folks who are in support of the opposition may not be too happy.
  3. Celebrate anonymously: Voters should know that at the end of the day, it is a one-man-one-vote. Whether one shouts or keeps quiet and watches events, the results are what determines victory.
  4. Avoid confrontation with security agencies: Many civilians do not respect, listen, and follow commands issued by security operatives. The security officers are simply doing their job so do not expect romance. They work on orders.
  5. Learn basic first aid tips: Campaign teams should have an ambulance and first aid equipment. It is possible to have cases that may require first aid or quick evacuation. Elections should not create enmity, or rob us of life and other valuables. Elections come and go but human lives afterward. We should be much aware that there is always one winner.

Useful tips for political parties and support groups:

  1. Adherence to security guidelines: The organizers of political activities and events, must ensure strict and sincere compliance with the security guidelines provided, while advice from the election body and its recommendations must be taken seriously.
  2. Obtain security clearance early enough: Political parties must obtain clearance from security agencies before embarking on any rally, or campaign, to avoid impromptu security arrangements.
  3. Avoid vote buying: Political support groups and political parties should avoid sharing money, food items, clothing, and other valuables should be avoided as they can cause distractions from the crowds and cause rowdiness.
  4. Show respect for the Electoral Act: Lastly, the Nigeria electoral Act 2022 should be adhered to as it provides for all processes that can guarantee peaceful, credible free, and fair elections, in 2023.

Article by: Ojang, Godwin