In its efforts to effectively monitor the 2023 general elections, the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) planned to deploy 102,000 personnel nationwide.
In a statement made available to newsmen, the Corps said it has evolved a comprehensive deployment plan to enhance general security coverage nationwide and ensure that electorates are not molested or intimidated by hoodlums or party thugs before, during and after the elections.
The Commandant General of the Corps, Dr. Ahmed Abubakar Audi, made this known while re-echoing its readiness to create a secured environment for the successful conduct of the elections.
According to the statement issued by the Director of Public Relations, C.C. Olusola Odumosu, on Tuesday in Abuja, Audi assured Nigerians that the forthcoming elections will be seamless, despite pockets of security challenges in some parts of the country.
The Commandant stated that the NSCDC has activated a robust operational guideline that would ensure credible, hitch-free and successful elections, reiterating that, the massive deployment of personnel is to checkmate all forms of electoral violence and electoral fraud which includes vote buying.
Also, there would be the deployment of the Anti-vandalism squad and Special Forces to all critical national assets and infrastructure, including flashpoints in the States and the FCT, to protect them against vandalism, damage or arson by criminal elements before, during and after the elections.
“To have a successful execution of this assignment, the Corps shall engage officers from the Special Forces, such as Arms Squad Unit, Counter Terrorism, Chemical, Biological Radiological and Explosives Unit (CBRNE), Female Squad, Rapid Response Squad (RRR), K9 and SWAT Unit, different from the regular conventional personnel.
“Our specially trained undercover personnel have been dispatched from each Command to work effectively with other Security Agencies to maintain surveillance, and provide intelligence reports and updates on the security situation in different States, especially on flashpoints”, the CG said.
He also hinted that State Commandants shall be responsible for field operations throughout the elections and a monitoring team made up of the DCG Operations and other DCGs, Zonal Commanders and other Senior Officers of the Corps have been constituted to effectively monitor and supervise the exercise nationwide.
The NSCDC boss further directed that in addition to the unified ICESS code of conduct for Security Agencies, officers deployed to this assignment must comply with the Corps’ Operational Code and the principles of Rule of Law must be applied in the discharge of their duties, as any conduct of NSCDC staff that negates or undermines the rule of law will be seriously sanctioned.
The CG urged personnel of the Corps to work in harmony with other security agencies by sustaining the synergy towards ensuring a hitch-free poll and guaranteeing a crime-free environment to enable eligible voters to exercise their voting rights.
He charged officers and men to display professionalism, be apolitical and maintain a high sense of discipline throughout the election period.
According to him,: “Officers and men of the Corps have been well trained to operate with humility and integrity in delivering service to the nation, therefore, there will be no compromise.
“They are to acquaint themselves with the provisions of the Electoral Act as regards the Rules of Engagement for the overall success of the elections”.