Nigeria police gear up for election violence


Nigeria riot police. Photo by Vanguard

from EMEKA OKONKWO in Abuja, Nigeria
Nigeria Bureau
ABUJA, (CAJ News) – THE Nigeria Police Force is bracing up for likely public disorder ahead of and during general elections early next year.

The atmosphere is increasingly tense as political parties campaign for what is projected to be one of the tightest polls.

Inspector-General of Police, Usman Alkali Baba, has ordered the immediate distribution of additional batches of anti-riot equipment, including comprising bullet-proof vests, ballistic helmets, tear gas and stun guns.

This is to boost for civil disorder management.

Other wares are uniforms and kits.

“…to ensure officers appear in clean uniforms and are well-suited to discharge policing services professionally before, during and after the 2023 General Elections; and for general safety of all and sundry across the country,” said Olumuyiwa Adejobi, national police spokesperson.

Adejobi said preparations were in “top gear” for the forthcoming elections, to optimize professionalism and friendly engagements in crowd control, as well as the subduing of any civil unrest as well as maximally adopt modern techniques of curtailing crimes and criminality.

“Equally, the Inspector-General of Police charges officers and men of the Force to exhibit discipline, decency, and respect people’s fundamental rights while discharging their duties,” Adejobi said.

Presidential, Senate and House of Representatives elections are set for February 25.

March 11 is scheduled for governorship polls.

In power since 2015, President Muhammadu Buhari is ineligible to contest because of term limits.

Nigeria has a history of violent polls. The last in 2019 left a reported 150 people dead.

– CAJ News

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