Following the determination to ensure hitch-free outings in the forthcoming Kogi and Bayelsa states election respectively, the Commandant General of Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, Abdullahi Gana Muhammadu has constituted and effectively deployed high powered teams of officers and men to provide adequate security coverage and prevent any act gravitating towards the breakdown of law and order in the two states where the Gubernatorial hopefuls will be locking horns to test their popularity and acceptability for the control of the affairs of the state in the next four years.
Addressing the team leaders at the Corps National Headquarters, Abuja, on the modus operandi of the assignment before their dispatch, the CG reiterates that the Corps is a major stakeholder in the security architecture of the country, as such, have been empowered to ensure a hitch free and yet credible elections in both states.
“Your deployment to the two states is not for you to engage in partisan politics, nor to compromise the integrity of this noble organization by accepting any form of gratification from any politicians; your job is to maintain peace and provide adequate security coverage for both sensitive and non-sensitive election materials, INEC staffs and the electorates” the CG said.
He maintained that due to the crucial nature of the assignments, two Assistant Commandants General, ACGs Modu Bunu and Pedro Idiba has been assigned to lead the operation in the two states respectively, to be assisted by five Commandants each from the zones, including the host state Commandants.
For ease of engagement, more personnel have been drawn from neighboring Ekiti, Ondo, Kwara, Edo and Niger states to support Kogi command for effective deployment to the 21 local government areas of the state. In the same vein, personnel from Rivers, Delta, Imo, Abia and Anambra command has also been drawn to support the host Bayelsa command in covering every nooks and cranny of the state.
He therefore, enjoined all his personnel to collaborate and work in synergy with the police who are the lead agency in internal security and other sister agencies for effective coverage of the election.
Gana explained further that his personnel would also be available to safeguard the various critical national assets and infrastructure within the states, which may be vandalized by criminally-minded individuals with sinister motives while election is going on.
He called on all well-meaning indigenes of Kogi and Bayelsa state to warn their people to desist from any act inimical to the growth of their states. He advised all registered voters to troop out en-mass to exercise their franchise for any candidate of their choice without mortgaging their conscience through vote buying or selling; an offence, which now attracts very stiff penalty.
He called on all political actors within and outside the states to eschew violence and not to engage in bitter politics that would involve the youths in snatching of ballot boxes, political thuggery, political violence, intimidation and harassment of voters as anyone found culpable would not be spared no matter how highly placed or connected.
According to him, stating further that, it is better to play by the rules and operate within the ambit of the law, which is a sure guarantee for peace and development, while at the same time helping to consolidate our nascent democracy.
Specialized units such as Special Weapon and Tactics unit (SWAT), Sniffer dogs, Counter terrorism and the Crisis management unit would also be fully engaged to bring about success of the election and checkmate anyone attempting to truncate the process.