The Inspector General of Police (IGP), Usman Baba, has ordered state Commissioners of Police to fortify the Inter-Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security (ICCES) and engage all stakeholders in evolving strategies for mitigating threats to the 2023 general elections within their various areas of responsibility.
The IGP also ordered the police commissioners to ensure adequate deployment of personnel, assets, and supervisory officers from other security agencies scheduled for election duties.
Baba, who gave the charge in Abuja, noted that political violence, hate speeches, threats, political intolerance, misinformation, and political extremism are all potential threats to democracy and national security interests.
The IGP, in a statement signed by the Force Public Relations Officer, Olumiyiwa Adejobi, urged state police commissioners to work in synergy with other members of the ICCES, to reduce occurrence and threats of violence to its barest minimum, with swift prosecution of violators of extant electoral laws, just as he directed the commissioners to ensure prompt distribution of tools, anti-riot equipment to police officers.
Similarly, the IGP has ordered a fresh distribution of gadgets, anti-riot gear, and personal protective equipment (PPE) for police officers across the federation, in preparation for the 2023 general election security management duty. The items include non-lethal weapons such as electro-shocks, rubber bullets, water cannons, tear gas, riot guns etc., for crowd control and to minimise casualty risk in eventual confrontations with subversive elements.
The IGP reaffirmed the commitment of his administration to the protection of our democratic heritage and national security interests, while he called on other security agencies and stakeholders who constitute ICCES, as well as members of the public, to deliberately aid the Nigeria Police Force in its drive to ensure the safety and security of all and sundry before, during, and after the 2023 general elections.”