IGP orders more security for INEC facilities, deploy crime-fighting gadgets
Following recent attacks on Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) facilities across the nation, the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Usman Alkali-Baba, has directed Commissioners of Police in charge of State Commands to activate the Inter-Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security (ICCES).
The IGP also ordered a fresh distribution of gadgets, anti-riot gear, and personal protective equipment (PPE) for personnel across the State Police Commands and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja, for the smooth conduct of the polls.
A statement by the Force Public Relations Officer (FPRO), CSP Olumuyiwa Adejobi, said the order was to engage stakeholders in evolving strategies to mitigate threats to the 2023 General Election, The Will reports.
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Baba said political violence, hate speech, threats, political intolerance, misinformation, and political extremism are all potential threats to democracy and the national security interests of the country.
The statement revealed the items to be distributed as non-lethal weapons such as electro-shocks, rubber bullets, water cannons, tear gas, riot, and guns amongst others, for crowd control and to minimise casualty risk in eventual confrontations with subversive elements.
IGP Baba, therefore, urged all State Police Commissioners to work in synergy with other members of the ICCES to reduce the occurrence and threats of violence to its barest minimum with swift prosecution of violators of extant electoral laws.
The IGP also directed all the Commissioners of Police in the State Commands to ensure adequate and strategic deployment of personnel and assets, as well as coordinate, deploy, and supervise personnel from other security agencies scheduled for election duty, in accordance with ICCES directives.
He charged Police Commissioners to fortify all INEC facilities within their respective areas of responsibility as electoral materials.
“These materials are being relocated to such facilities 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,” He said.