The Sokoto State Command of the Nigeria Police is ahead of others in the activation of Inter-agency Consultative Committee on Election Security (ICCES), as the Inspector-General of Police, IGP Usman Alkali Baba on Sunday, ordered all Commands to promptly activate same.
CP Mohammed Usaini Gumel had activated ICCES and visited all stakeholders, including the Chief Judge of Sokoto state who promised to establish special court to try offences emanating from election issues on November 14, 2022.
Included in the membership of the ICCES as activated by CP Gumel are representatives of all security agencies in the state.
The ICCES was activated to, among other things:
- Ensuring the safety and security of all persons and properties that will be involved in the entire electoral process without bias.
- Strict enforcement of the constitution of the federal Republic of Nigeria, the penal code as well as the electoral laws without fear or favor,
- Provision of security, jointly organizing traffic and crowd management at political party campaigns, rallies and other activities relating to the elections.
- Escalation of security deployments to occupy public space for crime free and enabling environment for the political campaigns and other components of the electoral process to thrive.
The IGP in a statement by the Force spokesperson, CSP Olumuyiwa Adejobi made available to ASHENEWS on Sunday, said ICCES is aimed “to engage all stakeholders in evolving strategies for mitigating threats to the 2023 General Elections process within their various areas of responsibility.
According to him, “political violence, hate speech, threats, political intolerance, misinformation, and political extremism are all potential threats to our democracy and national security interests.”
While urging “all police commissioners to work in synergy with other ICCES members to reduce occurrence and threats of violence to its barest minimum with swift prosecution of violators of extant electoral laws,” Baba so charged them “to ensure adequate and strategic deployment of officers and assets, as well as coordinate, deploy, and supervise officers from other security agencies scheduled for election duty, in accordance with ICCES directives, to fortify all facilities of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) within their respective areas of responsibility even as electoral materials are being relocated to such facilities, to ensure the safety and security of INEC personnel and materials before, during and after the 2023 General Elections and forestall attacks on INEC facilities.”
IGP Baba equally ordered a fresh distribution of gadgets, anti-riot gear, and personal protective equipment (PPE) for Police Officers across the federation in preparation for the 2023 General Election security management duty.
The items include non-lethal weapons such as electro-shocks, rubber bullets, water cannons, tear gas, riot guns etc., for crowd control and to minimize casualty risk in eventual confrontations with subversive elements.
He reaffirmed the commitment of his administration to the protection of our democratic heritage and national security interests, while he called on other security agencies and stakeholders who constitute ICCES, as well as members of the public, to deliberately aid the Nigeria Police Force in its drive to ensure the safety and security of all and sundry before, during, and after the 2023 general elections.