The Inspector General of Police (IGP), Alkali Baba Usman, said over 400,000 security personnel would be deployed for the smooth conduct of the general elections across the country.
The IGP made the disclosure yesterday at the 66th Ministerial Media Briefing organised by the Presidential Communications Team at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, yesterday.
He said out of this number, the police would provide over 300,000 personnel, while the rest would be sourced from complementary security agencies in the country.
While listing fuel scarcity and cash crunch as threats against the conduct of the elections, Baba assured that the situation will stabilise before the commencement of the exercise.
“We are very sure the situation of cash and petrol will stabilise before the conduct of the election,” he stated.
Reports gathered that, He further informed that an intelligence unit has been put in place to track and apprehend those who may engage in vote buying and those who may want to disrupt the exercise.
He said: “In aid of our efficient and informed human operational and logistics deployment plan, we have undertaken an election security threat analysis, which identifies and prioritised possible threats to the electoral process, in terms of location and specific personalities and groups across the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
“The force is also leveraging on the outcome of similar exercises undertaken and shared with us by the Department of State Services and civil society organisations, particularly CLEEN Foundation. The operational plan of the Force is a product of these initiatives.
From INEC records, there exists 176,846 polling units in 8,809 wards of the 36 states of the federation and FCT, where the elections will be conducted. The Nigeria Police, with the support of other security agencies, has perfected plans to deploy, in a coordinated and collaborative manner, to cover all these locations.
“The deployment will cover the National Collation Centre in Abuja, as well as other collation centres across states of the federation, the FCT and the 774 local areas of the federation. In view of the above, Nigeria police will deploy 310,973 personnel for the elections security operations.
This will comprise the conventional policemen, the mobile policemen, the special counterterrorism unit, the special forces, intelligence response team and other sections of the police.
“The manpower requirement for this exercise will be complemented by the military and other security agencies. In this regard, aside from the military and the DSS, other security agencies will contribute a total of 93,495 personnel for the election security operations.
“These include the Nigrian Security and Civil Defence, 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; Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, 350, totalling 404,106 to police the elections.
With this layout, a minimum of, at least, two personnel, drawn from the above agencies, will be jointly deployed to man each of the polling units across the country, while the armed personnel will 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 complement this situation by providing armed protection to critical national assets, ensuring that the enforcement of movements are curtailed through the blocking of exit points and entry points to various states, local governments and so forth.”
On specific plans to stop those who may disrupt the exercise as well as deter vote buyers, Baba 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 vote buyers.
He said: “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.”