The Inspector General of Police, Usman Alkali Baba on Friday said 425,106 security operatives will be deployed for the presidential and National Assembly election slated for Saturday, February 25, 2023.
Speaking during a media briefing organised by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) at the National Collation Centre in Abuja, the IGP said the figure excludes members of the Armed Forces of Nigeria.
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He explained that the personnel are drawn from the Nigerian Police, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC), National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Nigerian Correctional Service, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Nigeria Immigration Service.
While the Nigeria Police will provide a large trunk of personnel with 310,973, the anti-graft agency will provide the least number with 350 operatives.
“425,106 and I have said it agency by agency,” the police boss said. “In the Police we have 310,973, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence – 51,000; Federal Road Safety Corps – 21,000; Nigerian Correctional Service – 11,336; National Drug Law Enforcement Agency – 9,447; Economic and Financial Crimes Commission – 350; Nigeria Immigration Service – 21,000.”
When asked how the Force intends policing Very Important Personalities (VIP), the IGP explained that orderlies attached to them will be withdrawn during the polls.
He stated that the Force expects the VIPs to drop their armed bodyguards or orderlies from escorting them to the polling booths.
Even if escorted to the polling units, the police chief said their orderlies should stay at a distance for the VIP to cast or her votes before being escorted away.
“Just like in any other election, we expect our VIPs to drop their bodyguards/orderlies that are armed in escorting them to the polling stations.
“Even if they escort them, they should stop or stay at a distance so that the person can cast his votes and leave with his aides.
“We do not expect our men in the polling units. We have told our officers to comply. Those of them with the VIPs have also been communicated through our medium of communication.”
Oath Of Neutrality?
Just like INEC officials swore an oath of neutrality, the police chief said police operatives participating in the general elections do not swear to an oath for the exercise.
The reason, he gave, is because officers of the Nigerian Police are covered by an existing oath of office and oath of allegiance.
According to him, both police operatives and personnel of other security agencies are expected to adhere to the oaths upon graduation.