In preparation towards the forth coming Edo and Ondo States gubernatorial elections respectively, the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps has trained her personnel on the new electoral guidelines in Covid-19 period. These become necessary to ensure that every act of electoral malpractices, violence, act of hooliganism and other social vices that could affect the smooth conduct of the elections are being nipped in the bud.

The Commandant General of the Corps Abdullahi Gana Muhammadu, while briefing the participants, representative of INEC Chairman and the representative of the National Council for Disease Control (NCDC) at the Corps Headquarters Abuja on the need for training before the election proper.

Gana reiterated that the Corps as a critical stakeholder in election monitoring is ensuring that personnel are properly guided before being fully deployed for any election for the provision of physical security at the polling booth, polling units, protection of the ballot boxes as well as electoral officers.

He also stated that the Corps has a critical function to perform before, during and after election by educating and enlightening the populace, the political actors and political gladiators to employ peaceful approach of conducting the electoral processes without rancour.

In another vein, he re-echoed that considering the present situation where the society is being ravaged by the Covid-19 pandemic, it is important therefore to enlighten the personnel on the critical Covid-19 guidelines before embarking on the exercise.

Gana made it known that the Corps in addition has deployed the Deputy Commandant General in charge of Operations Hillary Kelechi Madu to lead the assignment along with other 3 Assistant Commandant Generals, 7 Commandants to serve as field coordinating officers in charge of the three senatorial districts. In addition, the Corps is deploying 13,311 personnel drawn from the Headquarters and neighbouring state such as Kogi, Anambra, Bayelsa, Delta and Ondo to complement the personnel of Edo state Command and Zonal Command in Benin.

Also, 60 sniffer dogs are being deployed to INEC office for crowd control and detection of combustive elements as well as IEDs, other specialized unit deployed are mobile surveillance vehicles, the special weapon and tactical unit (SWAT), the Chemical radioactive biological and neutral unit (CBRN) Counter Terrorism, Operations and Special Duties, Intelligence department, Medical and Disaster Management among others.

He states that apart from the election duty, there is need to beef up security around Infrastructure and National Assets from being soft target of attacks by hoodlums and vandals who unduly take advantage of election periods to carry out their nefarious and dastardly act as well as identified black spots and other areas prone to attack and vandalism.

The CG assured the personnel of adequate provision of logistics for the operation and also cautioned that they should work in harmony with other sister agencies without conflict as the Corps will not tolerate any act of misconduct during the operations.

He warned the personnel to deal with the populace with high level of civility and diplomacy to protect the name and integrity of the Corps. The politicians, he advised that leadership is not a do or die affair but service to humanity and to the electorate they should turn out en-masse to vote for the leaders of their choice, eschew violence and allow peace to reign because anyone caught will face the wrath of the law as Edo is their only state and they do not have any other state to claim, therefore they should not mortgage their conscience.

Gana guaranty free and fair election in Edo by working in collaboration and synergy with other sister agency. 

Emmanuel Okeh, DCC