2023 Polls: Police To Deploy Over 400,000 Security Personnel – IGP

IGP Alkali Usman Baba.

The Inspector General of Police, IGP Usman Alkali Baba, has disclosed that over 400,000 personnel from the nation’s security agencies would be deployed for the conduct of the general elections.

The IGP who made the disclosure on Thursday at the 66th ministerial media briefing organized by the Presidential Communications Team at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, said, the move was to ensure the smooth conduct of the exercise.

Of this number, TheFact Daily gathers that over 300,000 would be drawn from the Nigeria Police Force, NPF, and would comprise of the conventional policemen, the mobile policemen, the Special Counterterrorism Unit, the Special Forces, Intelligence Response Team and other sections of the police, while the rest would be sourced from complementary security agencies in the country.

The Police Chief, while listing fuel scarcity and cash crunch as threats against the conduct of the elections, assured that the situation would stabilize before the commencement of the exercise.

“In aid of our efficient and informed human operational and logistic deployment plan, we have undertaken an election security threat analysis, which identifies and prioritized possible threats to the electoral process in terms of location and specific personalities and groups across the 36 states of the federation and the FCT.

“The force is also leveraging on the outcome of similar exercise undertaken and shared with us by the Department of State Services and civil society organizations, particularly CLEEN Foundation. The operational plan of the Force is a product of these initiatives.

He also disclosed that the Nigeria Police, with the support of other security agencies, has perfected plans to deploy, in a coordinated and collaborative manner, and to cover all 176,846 polling units and 8,809 wards of the 36 states of the federation and the FCT, where the elections would be conducted.

“The deployment will cover the National Collation Center in Abuja, as well as other collation centers across States of the Federation, the FCT and the 774 local areas of the Federation”, he said, adding that the Nigeria police will deploy 310,973 personnel for the elections security operations, whose manpower requirement will be complemented by the military and other security agencies. In this regard, aside the military and the DSS, other security agencies will contribute a total of 93,495 personnel for the election security operations.

These other security agencies include the Nigerian Security and Civil Defense Corps, NSCDC who will deploy, through the Police, 151,000 personnel; the Federal Road Safety Corps, 21,000; Nigerian Correctional Service 11,336; the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, 9,447 and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, 350, bringing the total to 404,106 to police the elections.

With this layout, Baba said, a minimum of two personnel, drawn from the above agencies, would be jointly deployed to man each of the polling units across the country while the armed personnel would secure the public space, INEC facilities, vulnerable locations, border areas, as well as undertake armed escort duties for INEC personnel, materials and local and international observers.

“We also expect the military to compliment this situation by providing armed protection to critical national assets, ensure that the enforcement of movements are curtailed through the blocking of exit points and entry points to various states, local governments and so forth”, he said.

On specific plans to stop those who may disrupt the exercise as well as deter vote buyers, the IGP disclosed that a unique technical intelligence assets and special intelligence unit of the police, working with other security agencies and INEC, are in place to track and apprehend those who may plan to disrupt the exercise or intimidate voters.

“As part of efforts to address the menace of votes selling and buying, a special intelligence unit of the force has been constituted to clandestinely monitor the trend and work with EFCC, ICPC and INEC in identifying the network that may be involved in this illegality and apprehend them where possible.

“In addition, the unique technical intelligence assets of the force are also being deployed towards identifying adverse elements that may be planning to disrupt the process.

“Through this initiative, such elements will be identified real time, geo-located, isolated, arrested and brought to justice”, the IGP said.

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