The Inspector General of Police, Usman Baba, on Thursday summoned the commissioners of police and other top police officers to a meeting over the fast approaching 2023 general election.
Those present at the IG Conference include deputy IGs, CPs from the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory, and other senior police officers.
It was gathered that the conference was focused on dissecting current law enforcement realities in order for the police to engage in an all-inclusive approach to re-evaluate policing strategies against the backdrop of the dynamics of crime in the country.
The IG noted that the main purpose of the conference was to review the evolving political programmes as laid out by the Independent National Electoral Commission and chart clear pathways to ensure a smooth electoral process in the countdown to the 2023 general election.
“As you are aware, in compliance with Sec. 94(1) of the Electoral Act 2022, INEC has confirmed that electioneering campaigns by all political parties would officially commence on September 28, 2022.
“The import of this is that the national political space will soon become active and the possibility of increase in politically related offences may become heightened across the country. As the lead security agency in the election security process, the political campaigns security governance is, primarily, the statutory obligation of the Nigeria Police Force,” he said.
He added that the provision of the requisite professional leadership to achieve election security mandate rests squarely on the shoulders the police chiefs there present, adding that the Electoral Act, 2022 and the Code of Conduct and Rules of Engagement for Security Personnel on Electoral Duty which was issued in 2020 by the Inter-Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security, must remain a guide.
He said, “These two election security instruments grouped the mandate of the police into four key fields as follows: 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 Criminal/Penal Code as well as the electoral laws without fear or favour; Security, traffic, and crowd management at venues of political parties’ campaigns, rallies and other activities relating to the elections. The security of the public space towards guaranteeing a crime-free and enabling environment for the political campaigns and other components of the electoral process to thrive.”