By Kingsley Omonobi, Abuja
The Inspector-General of Police, Usman Alkali Baba, has ordered all Commissioners of Police in charge of State Police Commands to promptly activate the Inter-Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security (ICCES) towards engaging all stakeholders to evolve strategies for mitigating threats to the 2023 general elections process in their various areas of responsibility.
Noting that Political violence, hate speech, threats, political intolerance, misinformation, and political extremism are all potential threats to our democracy and national security interests, the IGP directed all police commissioners to work in synergy with other members of the ICCES to reduce occurrence and threats of violence to its barest minimum with swift prosecution of violators of extant electoral laws.
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Force Public Relations Officer, CSP Muyiwa Adejobi quoted IGP Alkali urging all Commissioners of Police in charge of State Commands to ensure adequate and strategic deployment of officers and assets, as well as coordinate, deploy, and supervise officers from other security agencies scheduled for election duty, in accordance with ICCES directives.
“They are to fortify all facilities of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) within their respective areas of responsibility even as electoral materials are being relocated to such facilities.
“They are to ensure the safety and security of INEC personnel and materials before, during and after the 2023 general elections and forestall attacks on INEC facilities.
“Similarly, the IGP has ordered fresh distribution of gadgets, anti-riot gear, and personal protective equipment (PPE) for Police Officers across the federation in preparation for the election security management duty.
“The items include non-lethal weapons such as electro-shocks, rubber bullets, water cannons, tear gas, riot guns etc., for crowd control and to minimize casualty risk in eventual confrontations with subversive element’s.”
The Inspector-General of Police reaffirmed the commitment of his administration to the protection of our democratic heritage and national security interests.
He called on other security agencies and stakeholders who constitute ICCES, as well as members of the public, to deliberately aid the Nigeria Police Force in its drive to ensure the safety and security of all and sundry before, during, and after the elections.