As INEC postpones Enugu South East senatorial poll
Yakubu assures of speedy release of results
By Lateef Ibrahim, Abuja
A total of 425,106 security personnel have been deployed to provide security coverage for today’s presidential and National Assembly elections, the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mr Usman Alkali Baba has revealed.
Alkali Baba stated this on Friday, at a press conference organised by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), to provide an update for Nigerians on the preparations for the elections.
The number of personnel deployed, the IGP explained, were jointly provided by the Nigerian police force in conjunction with other members of Inter-Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security (ICCES), which include Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, NSCDC, Immigration Services, Nigerian Correctional Service, NDLEA, Nigerian Fire Service, Nigerian Customs Service and EFCC among others.
The Nigeria police, which is the lead security agency for the election, the Police Chief said, is fully prepared for the Saturday’s presidential and National Assembly elections, and warned criminal elements who may try to disrupt the process to have a rethink.
The IGP also disclosed that police are deploying 74 armed personnel carriers (APCs), six helicopters, 50 ambulances, 37 water cannons and 75 gun throttles among others.
Alikali Baba explained that the force has mapped out flash points, which he added, were known to them, stating that deployment of personnel, depending on threat analysis, could be heavy or light.
The IGP stated that policing will be carried out at three stages – airways to be supported by the Nigeria Air force; riverine areas to be secured by the marine security, which will be assisted by the Nigerian Navy, as well as armed personnel to be complemented by the military.
According to him, “We have made arrangements for armed patrol in the 36 states and the FCT. Arrangements have been made to ensure that the collation centres are protected. Those who don’t have anything at the centres should stay away in their best interest”.
The IGP said each of the 176, 606 polling units will be manned by two unarmed police personnel.
He however added that the unarmed police personnel will not be too close to the polling centres.
He stressed that all electoral offences will be investigated at the end of which the outcome of such investigations will be made available to INEC for possible prosecution.
The INEC Chairman, Prof Mahmood Yakubu, who addressed the press conference jointly with the IGP, disclosed that there will be no senatorial election in Enugu East on Saturday due to the death of Labour Party (LP) senatorial candidate.
Prof. Yakubu disclosed that the Labour Party has, formally, communicated to INEC over the death of its candidate, adding that senatorial election will be held on March 11 together with governorship and House of Assembly elections.
Prof. Yakubu however said the presidential and National Assembly elections will be held in Imo State where ad hoc staff trained for the elections have withdrawn for security reasons.
The INEC Chairman stated that the commission has made proper arrangements for any glitches that might occur in the transmission of election results, adding that INEC is interfacing with four service providers to handle any problem that may arise.
Yakubu assured that the results of the presidential election will be released “speedily”.