Elections: Police announce movement restriction, ban VIP escorts
By Collins Mbakwe
The Nigeria Police Force has announced total restriction of all vehicular movements during the 25 February elections from 12:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
A statement by the Force Public Relations Officer, Olumuyiwa Adejobi, on Wednesday in Abuja said the restriction would be observed nationwide.
He however said the restriction order exempts those on essential services such as INEC officials, election observers, ambulances and firefighters responding to medical emergencies.
Mr Adejobi said the order was part of measures emplaced to ensure a safe, secure and conducive environment for the conduct of the elections.
He said the restrictions would help to ensure proper public order management, safety of electorates and effective policing.
Mr Adejobi added that it was also targeted at preventing hoodlums and criminal minded elements from disrupting the electoral process.
He said the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Usman Baba, had also barred security aides and escorts from accompanying their principals to polling booths and collation centres during the election.
According to him, anyone found flouting the directive will be severely sanctioned.
“Only security personnel specifically assigned to election duties are to be seen within and around the designated election booths and centres.
“Also, the ban on the unauthorised use of sirens, revolving lights, covered number plates and tinted glasses is still in force and violators would be sanctioned appropriately.
”All state established and owned security outfits, organisations, quasi-security units and privately-owned guards and security outfits are also barred from participating in election security management,” he said.
The IGP regretted the inconveniences the movement restriction would cause well meaning Nigerians.
He urged active electorate to be law abiding and turn out enmasse to exercise their franchise.
Mr Baba however, warned that the Force would deal decisively with anyone that would want to test its common resolve and might to ensure a peaceful election.
He enjoined citizens to shun vote buying, vote selling, hate speech, misinformation and disinformation, snatching of ballot boxes and other criminal acts.
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Mr Baba said the police and other security agencies would ensure that all violators of extant laws, including the Electoral Act, were brought to book.
He urged the public to contact the police and the Joint Election Monitoring and Operations Room domiciled at the Force Headquarters, Abuja, via the ‘NPF Rescue Me App’, available on Android and iOS.
The IGP added that the public could dial the NPF Rescue Me Emergency Toll-free line 08031230631 to report suspicious persons, activities or request security response.
He said other joint operations and election situation rooms numbers would be released by all police commands nationwide.