From Joseph Inokotong, Abuja
As the November 6th date for the Anambra Governorship election draws near, the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) said it would deploy 20,000 officers and men to ensure effective monitoring before, during and after the election.
The NSCDC cited the risk factors associated with the election, including separatist agitations, kidnapping, thuggery and general election fraud.
The Corps added that personnel to be deployed for the national assignment will be drafted from all the South-South and South East State Commands to join their counterparts in Anambra State. Personnel from Kogi, Ekiti, Ondo, and Benue have also been placed on standby.
NSCDC Commandant General Ahmed Abubakar Audi, who disclosed this in Abuja at a 3-day train-the-trainers capacity building and electoral workshop organised to prepare the Corps for the forthcoming state election, added that he would deploy officers from the Special Forces.
‘The Corps shall deploy officers from the Special Forces, such as the Arms Squad Unit, Counter Terrorism Unit, Anti-vandal Unit, Intelligence and Investigations, Canine Unit, SWAT Unit, Chemical Biological Radiological and Explosives Unit (CBRNE) to all key points in the State to protect lives and property, sensitive and non-sensitive election materials, INEC officials and all critical assets against vandalism, damage or arsonist attacks,’ said the Commandant General
On how to handle the flashpoints, CG Audi said the Corps in collaboration with other security agencies have developed strategies to checkmate any act of electoral violence and other nefarious activities capable of undermining the electoral process, stressing that ‘any act of sabotage and negative tendencies to frustrate democracy and good governance in this election will be severely dealt with.’
He urged officers deployed to the assignment to maintain strict compliance with NSCDC’s disciplinary code as enshrined in the Corps Standard Operating Procedure and warned that the principles of the rule of law must be fully complied with in the discharge of their duties.
‘Let me warn, and I mean it that any conduct of an officer of the NSCDC that undermines the rule of law will be seriously dealt with in accordance with the Public Service Rule,’ Audi warned.
He called on officers and men of the Corps to display professionalism and maintain a high sense of discipline, humility and integrity in service delivery throughout the election period as well as acquaint themselves with the provisions of the Electoral Act as regards the rules of engagement.