Hours before Nigeria’s much-anticipated 2023 presidential election, the Inspector General of Police, Usman Baba has said that activities of terrorists, bandits, and members of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and its armed wing, the Eastern Security Network (ESN) remain a challenge.
“Activities of bandits, terrorists, and secessionists and self-actualisation elements popularly known as IPOB or ESN still remain a challenge,” the IGP said at a media briefing on Friday in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory.
He also said political thuggery as well as intra and inter-party crises pose a challenge to the February 25, 2023 poll.
He also said continuous attacks on facilities of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) by “subversive and anti-democratic elements” still remain a challenge.
Baba said no quasi-security organisation like Amotekun Corps in the South-West, Ebubeagu in the South-East or the Benue Guards will be allowed to participate in Saturday’s poll.
“However, I have issued directive that no quasi-security organisation is to be involved in policing the political process,” the IGP stated.
He also stressed the commitment of the police to ensure free and fair polls, noting that the 425,106 security operatives have been deployed for the presidential and National Assembly election slated for Saturday.
Enumerating the challenges before the police ahead of the general elections, Baba said, “Much as the Nigerian Police has perfected plans to engender a peaceful electoral process, the following have been identified as possible challenges.
“They are with us, and we will continue to manage it. For us to manage these challenges, we have upscaled our operations and therefore believe that we have conditioned the atmosphere more than before.
“In other words, our analysis of the crime situation in Nigeria has dropped drastically compared to what we have recorded as crime and criminality in the last one month.”