Ahead of the March 18, 2023 gubernatorial and House of Assembly elections, the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) has assured Nigerians of a strengthened security network to ensure that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) conduct a free and fair election.
The Corps gave this assurance in a statement signed by the Director of Public Relations, CC Olusola Odumosu, and made available to the National Association of Online Security News Publishers (NAOSNP).
The statement noted that following the review, analysis, and processing of reports and observations from the field on the Presidential and National Assembly elections held on the 25th of February, 2023, the management of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), has put in place a robust security arrangement geared towards the success of the forthcoming governorship election.
The tightened security approach, according to the statement, is to ensure that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) staff, election materials and citizens are secured during the elections.
In his remarks, the NSCDC Commandant General, Dr Ahmed Abubakar Audi, mni, OFR, while addressing some personnel ready for deployment to states for the elections, said that efforts to curb disruption of the voting process necessitated the deployment of personnel to old and newly discovered flashpoints.
“Ensure the protection of critical national assets and infrastructural domains where vandalism of public utilities frequently occurred,” he ordered.
He affirmed that the already deployed one hundred and two thousand officers and men who had been properly trained in regimentation, crowd control, arms bearing and election management techniques are to ensure full security coverage of the election.
He further assured that the Corps will continue to work with members of the public to obtain credible information to nip criminal activities in the bud before, during and after the election.
Audi charged all personnel on election duty to observe the rules of engagement and get themselves acquainted with the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP), code of ethics, and the electoral law as amended.
He warned against any form of misconduct, compromise, or accidental discharge as such acts are unpardonable under his administration.
“You must be professional, apolitical, and non-partisan, respect the fundamental human rights of the citizens, and avoid Intimidation and harassment of voters.
“Personnel must respect fundamental human rights of citizens, protect voters against political thugs, arrest vote buyers, election fraudsters.
“You are to ensure the obedience of law and order, be good ambassadors and maintain the integrity of the system,” CG said.
The Corps helmsman reiterated the need for continuous partnership with the police and other security agencies involved in election security duties, advising them to avoid unnecessary confrontation but to handle misunderstandings (in case of any) with maturity.
Audi warned mischief makers who may intend to perpetrate violence to take lessons from the last Presidential and National Assembly election where many political thugs lost their lives while snatching ballot boxes amongst other electoral crimes.
He urged personnel to attract only good comments to the service with their conducts and performances during the polls as anyone found wanting will not be spared and assured those yet to receive the second tranch of the election allowance to exercise patience as glitches in the network is seriously affecting most financial transactions.
“Except for those who supplied wrong account details, and some network glitches, many personnel had received the second credit alerts,” CG informed.