The Inspector General of Police (IGP), Usman Alkali Baba, has given details about how 310,973 personnel in the Force will be deployed, along with other security formations, to guard 176,846 polling units in 8,809 wards of the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT0 in the nation’s general elections, beginning with Presidential and National Assembly poll next week Saturday, February 25.
The IGP, who spoke to news men today, February 16 in the series of ministerial media briefing at the Presidential villa, Abuja, said that a total of 404,106 personnel from various security agencies would be deployed for the conduct of the general elections.
“From INEC records, there exist 176,846 polling units in 8,809 wards of the 36 states of the federation and FCT, where the elections will be conducted.
“The Nigeria Police, with the support of other security agencies, has perfected plans to deploy, in a coordinated and collaborative manner, to cover all these locations.
“The deployment will cover the National Collation Center in Abuja, as well as other collation centres across states of the Federation, the FCT and the 774 local areas of the Federation.
“In view of the above, Nigeria police will deploy 310,973 personnel for the elections security operations. This will comprise of the conventional policemen, the mobile policemen, the special counterterrorism unit, the special forces, the intelligence response team and other sections of the police.
“The manpower requirement for this exercise will be complemented by the military and other security agencies.
“In this regard, aside from the military and the DSS, other security agencies will contribute a total of 93,495 personnel for the election security operations. These include the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps, which will deploy, through the Police, 151,000 personnel; the Federal Road Safety Corps, 21,000; Nigerian Correctional Service 11,336; the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, 9,447; Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, 350, totalling 404,106 to police the elections.
“With this layout, a minimum of at least two personnel, drawn from the above agencies, will be jointly deployed to man each of the polling units across the country while the armed personnel will secure the public space, INEC facilities, vulnerable locations, border areas, as well as undertake armed escort duties for INEC personnel, materials and local and international observers.
“We also expect the military to complement this situation by providing armed protection to critical national assets, ensure that the enforcement of movements is curtailed through the blocking of exit points and entry points to various states, local governments and so forth.”
The IGP, who listed some threats against the conduct of the elections including fuel scarcity and cash squeeze, assured that the situation with both would stabilise before the commencement of the exercise.
“We are very sure the situation of cash and petrol will stabilize before the conduct of the election.”
The police boss said that an intelligence unit has been put in place to track and apprehend those who might engage in vote buying and others who might want to disrupt the exercise.
“As part of efforts to address the menace of votes selling and buying, a special intelligence unit of the force has been constituted to clandestinely monitor the trend and work with EFCC, ICPC and INEC in identifying the network that may be involved in this illegality and apprehend them where possible.
“In addition, the unique technical intelligence assets of the force are also being deployed towards identifying adverse elements that may be planning to disrupt the process.”
Source: Daily Trust