By Stephen Ubanna
Worried by fear of allegations rigging and intimidation during the general elections which kick-starts next Saturday, with the Presidential election , Mohammed Admu., acting Inspector General of Police, IGP, appear set to confront the reality about Nigerian elections. The IGP , may have be informed to take take extra -measures in ensuring that that the police officers found on polling booths are genuine officers. this is because of the recent interception of a vehicle loaded bales of camouflage police uniforms, tear gas, police Sergent rank badge, and Identity Cards of Inspectors and Sergeants without names . Th desperate politicians may have printed the police Sergeant badge and the Identity Cards of the Sergents and Inspectors because they are the officers mostly used to police voting centers. they may have had in mind to replace the genuine policemen that would be deployed by the Police IGP during the election.
There are fears in political circles that if a vehicle loaded with bales of fake police camouflage and other items including cutlass could be intercepted by the Federal Operations, Unit, FOU, Zone A, personnel along the Ijebu-Ode Express way, some transit cargoes heading to the land locked countries of Chad and Nigeria through Borno, Yobe, Kano and Katsina, in which some of these fake items may have been concealed may have found their way into the country.
Adamu may have ssured Nigerians that they have no reason t worry about the officers would be deployed to be at the polling boths or on the road to maintain peace during the election. He appears to have marched word with action going by the number of mobilisied police he has promised to deploy to police election.
Recall that the acting IGP , had earlier told President Muhammadu Buhari that ”adequate arrangement has been made to make sure that free, fair and credible election take place in Nigeria”.
As a prelude to keeping to the promise, on Thursday, February 7, 2019, Adamu had told Babagana Monguno, a retired Army General and National Security Adviser, NSA, Mahmood Yakubu, a Professor and Chairman, Independent National Commission, INEC including the European Union, EU, Observers delegation there was no cause to worry about provision of security during the election. He was said to have informed the stakeholders who were anxious to hear from the police Corp that 24,000 Mobile Police officers, 400 Counter terrorism operatives, and 800 personnel from the Special Protection Unit, SPU, personnel will be deployed across the country for the general elections. The message was very clear to the politicians. ”We will decisively with anyone or group that may want put our common will to test ”.
Note that the EU, had repeatedly reiterated its ”commitment to credible elections in the country” as Rchard Young, the Union’ Representative had said the ”delegation will not be intimidated by anyone during the election”. The IGP security arrangement may have gladdened the heart of Nigerians and the International Community that there won’t be fake police officers on the road to harass people as the Mobile Police officers armed to the teeth deployed for the election throughout the country are equal to the task. Already, Nigerians are showing their enthusiasm to take part in the process of returning Buhari or electing new set of leaders at the various level s of the election for the next four years. This is evident going by the speed at which they rush to collect their Permanent Voters Card, PVC, which is expected to end today, February 8, 2019.
Aware that Adamu, the police boss , may not be all alone to take vital decisions during this election period, the Police Service, Commission, PSC, headed by Misiliu Smith, a former IGP, was said to have the promotion of 13 Commissioners of Police, CP, to Assistant Inspector Generals , AIG, and 33 Deputy Commissioners of Police, DCP, to CP. One of the newly promoted CPs to AIG ,was Ibrahim Lamorde, a former Chairman of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, from Katsina state.
A Statement by Ikechukwu Ani, the PSC, Spokes person, said the nation is looking up to their wealth of experince to bear on myriad of problems facing the country , particular now that ”we are counting down to 2019 general elections”. The new members of the Force Management team may have assured the IGP of their loyalty and to” reciprocate the government’s good intentions by dedicating themselves to the service of their fatherland”. The flash point states may have watch it as they may soon get crack and well informed CPs. Take for instance ,Lagos state where Edgal Imohimi, has be replaced by Mu’azu Zubairu as the CP.
many expect Nigeria to witness a ”free, fair and credible” election that would be internationally acclaimed going by the Force shakeup and security arrangement put in place by the no nonsense Adamu, the IGP.
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