The Inspector General of Police Alkali Baba has summoned all state police bosses and Assistant Inspectors-General of Police to a strategic police managers meeting where action plans are being concluded for the governorship election of March 11, 2023.
The strategic meeting which held at the Force headquarters, Louis Edet House, Abuja had in attendance all the AIG’s in charges of zones, Commissioners of Police of 36 states including FCT, commanders of tactical units and the police management team.
According to Alkali, “The meeting first, is to interface with and debrief strategic field officers who directly coordinated our election security operations across all the 36 States of the Federation and the FCT during the just concluded Presidential and National Assembly elections. This is towards drawing on their practical experiences for informed feedbacks that will aid us in evaluating our operational performance and identifying logistics gaps and other challenges that might have been experienced during the exercise.
“Second is to assess the security situation at all levels in the immediate aftermath of the 25th February, 2023 sets of elections. This is with a view to identifying trends and patterns within the post-election security space, and draw inferences on possible threats that may require mitigation ahead of the next rounds of the national electoral process on March 11, 2023.
“The third focus of this election security review Conference is to draw on our rich and diverse professional experiences in perfecting our Action Plan for the upcoming Governorship and State Assembly elections on March 11, 2023 and guaranteeing a stable internal security order ahead of the electoral exercise across the country.
“Democracy is a dynamic process. Election security governance practice is similarly dynamic. By implication, as our democratic culture evolves, the security framework that aids in the advancement of the process must also be continually perfected. As the lead agency in the election security framework, therefore, it is natural that the citizens will continually demand of us a high level security architecture that will deepen their trust and confidence in the electoral process.
“Consequently, we remain duty bound to re-commit ourselves to pathways that will incrementally strengthen our operational capacity and professional knowledge in navigating through the complex dynamics of our electoral process as we strive to police our democratic heritage and meet the expectations of the electorates.
“In this regard, while the Presidential and National Assembly elections might have presented varying degrees of challenges as captured in the Post-Election Operations feedback that have been received across the various Police Commands, I am delighted to note with a high level of satisfaction, the resilience and utmost professionalism which you all displayed in the course of your election security operations.
“I am particularly elated that you situated your operations strictly within the context of the Reviewed Standard Operational Guidelines and Rules for Police Officers and Other Security Agents on Electoral Duties which was issued to all officers in the countdown to the election operations.
“I am also excited that you all maintained a high level of civility and situated your operations within the dictates of rule of law. Yet, you remained apolitical, firm and supportive of the Independent National Electoral Commission and sacrificed to create an enabling environment for the law abiding electorates to peacefully exercise their franchise while denying space for electoral adversaries to manifest their ill-intentions to threaten the overall process.
“Even more soothing is the feedback received to the effect that you responded promptly and courageously to most of the breaches that were recorded and largely mitigated them with the highest level of self-restraint and best global policing standard in the circumstance.
“In your quest to maintain order within the electoral space, you succeeded on a commendable scale in stabilizing such threatened space, safely rescued several INEC officials and citizens that were under threats, secured sensitive materials, made series of recoveries including arms and ammunition of various descriptions as well as effected, in the most professional manner, the arrest of several electoral adversaries nationwide.
“In this regard, of the about 185 major incidents that the Police responded to across the country during the elections, a total of 203 offenders linked to various electoral offences and sundry crimes have so far been arrested, while not less than eighteen (18) firearms of various descriptions were recovered from political thugs during the exercise.
“All the cases are at various stages of investigations at the Nigeria Police Electoral Offences Desks and I assure you that in due course they will be concluded and processed to the Legal Department of the Independent National Electoral Commission for prosecution.
“Our outstanding performance is, indeed, evidenced by the fact that for the first time in the election security history of our beloved country, the Nigeria Police has been widely insulated from accusations that usually accompany any electoral cycle. We have, rather, been receiving accolades and encouragements from both local and international election observers for our unprecedented quality election security service delivery.
“This much was re-echoed by the African Union Commission (AUC) Election Observer Mission and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Commission and several other credible national and international sources.
“All of these are not only reflective of the pre-election security operations trainings that most personnel of the Force were exposed to, it is also a product of the meticulous planning, massive operational assets and logistics procurement and deployment process as well as the prioritization of the welfare requirements of personnel deployed on the election duties.
“Most fundamentally, your excellent performance is clearly indicative of your compliance with my strategic and operational directives which were predicated on the charge of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, President Muhammadu
Buhari, to ensure a peaceful and secure electoral process as well as a firm, but apolitical disposition that will engender a free, fair, and credible 2023 General Elections.
“For your loyalty, patriotism, sacrifice, and professionalism, I wish to use this forum to convey my sincere appreciation and commendation to you here seated and indeed, to the entire Nigeria Police family, the Military, Intelligence Community and all other complementary Services that supported us in the exercise. In so doing, however, I must be quick to remind you of the common saying that ‘the reward for hard work is more work’.
“While we would utilize this gathering to re-energize our operational plan and strengthen the attainment of our election security mandate as we prepare for the Governorship and State Assembly phase of the General of Elections on March 11, 2023, I charge you all to recommit yourselves to national duty and sustain the high operational level that is attracting broad commendation to the Force.
“You must be prepared to work more assiduously towards providing the requisite strategic leadership in your various posts for your personnel in guaranteeing an electoral and general public space that will remain stable, peaceful and secure enough to keep citizens in no doubt of our unwavering commitment to their yearnings for a credible electoral process as we cap up the 2023 General Elections in a few days’ time.
“The starting point to this is to ensure that the tension which the process and outcome of the just concluded Presidential and National Assembly Elections generated is mitigated proactively and well-enough to ensure that it does not snowball into a national security breach nor impact negatively on our democratic achievements.
“This is more so that some unpatriotic elements have been attempting to negatively utilize the social media to post fake news, videos and other materials with the sole intent of heating up the polity, fueling political bitterness, and enflaming the national security space.”