The Inspector General of Police, Usman Alkali Baba, has revealed that over 425,000 security operatives will be deployed for Nigeria’s upcoming presidential and National Assembly elections scheduled to hold on Saturday, February 25th.
Alkali disclosed this at a media briefing organized by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) at the National Collation Centre in Abuja on Friday, News About Nigeria reports.
The security personnel are drawn from the Nigerian Police, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC), National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Nigerian Correctional Service, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Nigeria Immigration Service.
Alkali stated that the Nigeria Police will provide a large number of personnel with 310,973, while the anti-graft agency will provide the least number with 350 operatives. The figure, however, excludes members of the Armed Forces of Nigeria.
Speaking on how the Force intends to police Very Important Personalities (VIP), Alkali said that orderlies attached to politicians will be withdrawn during the polls. He urged VIPs to drop their armed bodyguards or orderlies from escorting them to the polling booths.
The police chief noted that if escorted to the polling units, the orderlies of VIPs should stay at a distance for the VIP to cast his or her votes before being escorted away. He emphasized that the police force does not expect its men to be present in the polling units.
“We do not expect our men in the polling units. We have told our officers to comply. Those of them with the VIPs have also been communicated through our medium of communication,” he said.
The deployment of such a large number of security operatives is aimed at ensuring that the electoral process is peaceful and free from violence. Nigeria has a history of electoral violence, and there are fears that the 2023 elections may be marred by violence if adequate security measures are not put in place.
The deployment of security operatives for the elections is commendable, but the security agencies must ensure that the electoral process is not disrupted by their activities. The authorities should also ensure that the security personnel deployed for the polls are well-trained and equipped to carry out their duties effectively.