The Inspector-General of Police, Usman Baba, has ordered a restriction of all forms of vehicular movement on roads, waterways, and other forms of transportation, from 12 am to 6 pm on Election Day.
This is with the exception of those on essential services such as officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission, election observers, ambulances responding to medical emergencies, and firefighters among others.
This was revealed by the Force Public Relations Officer, Olumuyiwa Adejobi, in a Wednesday night statement obtained by our correspondent.
Adejobi said, “Consequent to the first part of the 2023 general elections, the presidential and National Assembly elections scheduled to hold on Saturday, February 25, 2023, across all states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory, the IG, Usman Baba has ordered a restriction of all forms of vehicular movement on roads, waterways, and other forms of transportation, from 12 am to 6 pm on election day with the exception of those on essential services such as INEC officials, electoral observers, ambulances responding to medical emergencies, firefighters, etc.”
The order, according to the spokesperson for the NPF, is part of measures emplaced to ensure a safe, secure, and conducive environment for the conduct of elections.
He noted that it is aimed at ensuring public order management, the safety of electorates, as well as assisting the security agencies in effective policing, thereby preventing hoodlums and criminally-minded elements from disrupting the electoral process.
Adejobi said, “Similarly, the IG sternly warns all security aides and escorts to desist from accompanying their principals and politicians to polling booths and collation centres during the election as anyone found flouting this directive will be severely sanctioned.
“He emphasises that 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 guard and security outfits are also barred from participating in election security management.”
While empathising with well-meaning citizens on the inconveniences the restriction might cause, the IG urges all active electorates to be law-abiding and turn out en masse to exercise their franchise.
Adejobi added, “He however warns that the NPF will deal decisively with any individual or group(s) that might want to test our common resolve and might want to disrupt a peaceful election.
“The IG, therefore, enjoins all citizens to shun vote buying, vote selling, hate speech, misinformation, and disinformation, snatching of ballot boxes, and other criminal act(s) as the Force and other security agencies will leave no stone unturned in ensuring that all violators of extant laws, most especially the Electoral Act 2022 (as amended), are brought to book.”
The police further urged all members of the public to contact the NPF 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, or via the NPF Rescue Me Emergency Toll-free line on 08031230631 to report suspicious persons, activities or request security response.
“Similarly, other joint operations/election situation room numbers will be released by all state police commands respectively, for emergency contact.” Adejobi noted.