The Federal Government has said 404,106 security personnel from police and other sister security agencies will be deployed to provide security for the conduct of the February 25 and March 11 elections in Nigeria.
Out of the 404,106 security personnel, the police will be providing 310,973 personnel while the balance will be sourced from complementary security agencies in the country.
The Federal Government also said it is taking the threat by Simon Ekpa, commander of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) who said there will not be elections in the South East seriously.
Inspector-general of police (IGP) Usman Alkali Baba made the disclosure Thursday, during the weekly ministerial briefing organised by the presidential communication team at Aso Rock, Abuja.
It had been reported that Ekpa and some hoodlums in the proscribed group were responsible for the continued lock-down of the economy through the so-called sit-at-home on Mondays and some other designated days.
Ekpa is based in Finland. The police boss described his threat to ensure election does not hold in the region as an attempt to destabilise the country.
Baba also said other security services, besides the military and the Department of State Services (DSS), would complement the efforts of the police with a total of 93,133 personnel, bringing all to 404, 106 personnel.
“The Nigeria Police will deploy 310,973 personnel for the elections’ security operations. This will comprise of 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,” the IGP stated.
He identified others to include the Nigerian Security and Civil Defense Corps, which will deploy, through the Police, 51,000 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, totaling 404,106 to police the elections.
The IGP said 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 spaces, 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”, he said.
The police chief said an intelligence unit had been put in place to track and apprehend those who might engage in vote buying and others who might want to disrupt the exercise.
“As part of efforts to address the menace of vote 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”, he said.
He listed some threats against the conduct of the elections as including fuel scarcity and cash squeeze but assured that the situation with both 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.
Alkali asserted that an intelligence unit is in place to track and apprehend those who may engage in vote buying and others who may want to disrupt the exercise.