Gov/Assembly Polls: Police Promise Adequate Security


Barely 24 hours to the Governorship and House of Assembly as well as the postponed House of Representatives elections across the country, the Lagos State Police Command has assured Lagosians of adequate security and protection of lives and property throughout the exercise in the state.

The State Police Commissioner, Mr. Sulaimon Abba, who gave the assurance Monday at the Lagos House, Alausa Ikeja, said following the anomalies reported in some parts of the country in the last two elections, the Police in the State have beefed up its arrangements to ensure not only a peaceful exercise but also a level playing ground for all politicians.

Addressing newsmen after the State  Security Council Meeting chaired by the State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola (SAN), Abba said given the position Lagos State occupies as the economic hub of the country, the coming elections were critical and important, not only to the people of Lagos State but also to the country as a whole.

“That is why adequate security must be made for the elections. As a result of the problems reported in various parts of the country in the last two elections, we had to go back to the drawing board to make more arrangements for the coming state elections,” the police boss said.

Some of the new arrangements made by the police for the elections, Abba disclosed, include, increasing the number of security personnel at polling booths, increasing the number of patrol vehicles and the number of security personnel at check points among other arrangements.

Abba said aside the arrangements put in place by the police and other security and law enforcement agencies, the military (the Army, Navy and Air-force), have also beefed up their security arrangements to assist in providing adequate security for all during and immediately after the voting exercise.

According to him, the military will, however, be involved to the extent of the provisions stated in the Electoral Act, which include manning the check-points to enforce restriction of vehicular movement and providing protection for officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and other officials taking part in the exercise.

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“They will assist us at check-points to ensure that movement is restricted; they will also assist in uncovering those movements with ulterior motives such as those carrying materials meant for rigging or dangerous weapons to cause violence,” he said.

He said military detectives would also be involved in the exercise to assist the police in patrolling the streets to detect people with intention to rig or engage in any form of electoral malpractices adding, “these arrangements are all to make sure that we have, not only a peaceful exercise but also an orderly conduct from all and sundry during the exercise.

“We are making sure that the INEC personnel and members of the National Youth Service Corps, our sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, who have made our country proud in these elections, will be adequately protected throughout the elections so that the exercise will be successful.”

Urging Lagosians to conduct themselves peacefully during the exercise, the police boss noted with joy that their conduct during the last two elections showed that people of Lagos know the value of peace.

“That is why we have had successful elections so far,” he said, but warned, “We will enforce all the electoral regulations as contained in the Electoral Act; as a result, movements of vehicles, except those on essential duties, are banned between 8. 00 a.m. till the end of the exercise. Canvassing for votes are not allowed on that day. Politicians are not allowed to monitor the polling booths; wearing of party clothes or any other materials depicting any party at the booths is also banned.”

Also present at the briefing were Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Security, Major Tunde Panox (retd), Director State Security Services (SSS) in Lagos, Mr. Achu Ben Olayi, Commanding Officer NNS Beecroft, Apapa Naval Base, Commodore Jonathan Ango, Commander 9 Brigade, Ikeja, Brigadier Sanusi Nasiru Muazu and Commander 435 BSG, Ikeja Group Captain Ayo Saad Abdulsalam.

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