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Election security: IGP issues revised guidelines to officers

The Inspector-General of Police, Usman Alkali Baba has ordered the distribution of more than 1 million copies of a handbook produced by the Nigeria Police Force on “Revised Standard Operational Guidelines/Rules for Police Officers and Other Law Enforcement Agents on Election Security Duties” ahead of the 2023 General Election.

A statement by the Force Public Relations Officer, Force Headquarters, Abuja, CSP Olumuyiwa Adejobi, on Wednesday said the 36-page handbook contains the rules on “general conduct, duty parade, briefing and debriefing, dress and accoutrement, managing political parties’ convention and rallies”, as well as “crowd control”.

Others are the use of force and lethal weapon, escorting and protecting election materials, the procedure of arrest, command control as well as other salient electoral security rules.

According to the statement, the handbooks have been distributed to the Force Headquarters, Zonal and State Police Commands, Formations and trickles down to Units of the Force and Divisional Police Stations in order to ensure that “every police officer” has a copy of the guidelines for “ease of reference” before the commencement of deployments.

The IGP also ordered the distribution of the handbook to the Presidency, Ministry of Police Affairs, Police Service Commission, the Military, and all other security agencies engaged alongside the Police in election security management, based on their expected deployment for the elections.

The IGP reiterated his expectation that the Police and other security agents involved in election security management will find the handbook to be a “valuable operational companion”, which could act as a standard in holding them accountable in the line of electoral duties.

The police chief urged all hands to be on deck to “actualise the mandate and commitment” of the NPF to have free, fair and credible elections in Nigeria.

Writing by Annabel Nwachukwu; Editing by Tony Okerafor