According to Inspector General of Police (IGP) Alkali Baba Usman, approximately 400,000 security personnel would be deployed nationwide to ensure a peaceful general election.
At the 66th Ministerial Media Briefing, which was held yesterday at the Presidential Villa in Abuja and was hosted by the Presidential Communications Team, the IGP made the announcement.
He stated that over 300,000 of these individuals would be supplied by the police, with the remaining employees coming from other national security agencies.
Baba assured that the situation would stabilize prior to the start of the election, despite citing fuel scarcity and cash shortage as threats to the process.
He stated, “We are very sure the situation of cash and gasoline will stabilize before the election.”
He also stated that an intelligence unit has been established to track and apprehend those who may engage in vote buying and those who may wish to disrupt the election, according to reports.
He stated, “We have undertaken an election security threat analysis, which identifies and prioritizes potential threats to the electoral process, in terms of location and specific personalities and groups across the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), in support of our efficient and informed human operational and logistics deployment plan.”
The force is also making use of the results of similar exercises that were carried out and shared with us by civil society organizations, particularly CLEEN Foundation. These initiatives resulted in the Force’s operational plan.
According to INEC records, there are 176,846 polling places in 8,809 wards across the 36 federation states and FCT, where the elections will be held. Plans for deploying in a coordinated and collaborative manner to cover all of these locations have been perfected by the Nigeria Police with the assistance of other security agencies.
“The deployment will include the National Collation Centre in Abuja, as well as other collation centers located throughout the federation’s states, the Federal Capital Territory, and the 774 local areas.” In light of the foregoing, the Nigerian police will send 310,973 people to help with election security.
This will include the conventional police, the mobile police, the special forces, the intelligence response team, the special counterterrorism unit, and other police departments.
The military and other security agencies will help meet this exercise’s manpower requirements. In this regard, in addition to the DSS and the military, additional security agencies will contribute 93,495 individuals to the election security operations.
“These include the Nigrian Security and Civil Defense, which will send 151,000 people through the police; 21,000 from the Federal Road Safety Corps; 11,336; Nigerian Correctional Service 9,447 members of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency; 350, or 404,106 dollars, from the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission will be used to monitor the elections.
The armed personnel will secure the public space, INEC facilities, vulnerable locations, and border areas, as well as perform armed escort duties for INEC personnel, materials, and local and international observers, with at least two personnel drawn from the aforementioned agencies being jointly deployed to man each of the country’s polling units.
“We also expect the military to complement this situation by providing armed protection to critical national assets and ensuring that the enforcement of movements is limited by blocking exit and entry points for various states, local governments, and so forth,” the statement reads.
Regarding specific plans to stop those who might disrupt the exercise and discourage vote buyers, Baba said that INEC and other security agencies are working with a police special intelligence unit to track and apprehend those who might plan to disrupt the exercise or intimidate vote buyers.
He stated, “A special intelligence unit of the force has been constituted to clandestinely monitor the trend and work with EFCC, ICPC, and INEC to identify the network that may be involved in this illegality and apprehend them where possible. This is part of efforts to address the menace of votes selling and buying.”
“In addition, the force’s one-of-a-kind technical intelligence assets are being used to find negative elements that might be planning to disrupt the process.
“These elements will be identified in real time, geolocated, isolated, arrested, and brought to justice through this initiative.”