from EMEKA OKONKWO in Abuja, Nigeria
ABUJA, (CAJ News) – THE Nigeria Police Force (NPF) is bolstering its capacity for next year’s elections amid indications the exercise will be violent.
The Inspector-General of Police, Usman Alkali Baba, has met strategic police officers ahead of the polls set for February and March.
Despite the volatile situation prevailing ahead of the elections, Baba has assured of all-inclusive approaches to poll security management during the general elections.
He said this was evident in the various strategic meetings with the heads of political parties, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), National Security Adviser, the military, the intelligence community and sister security agencies.
“He (Baba) reassures all Nigerians and the global community of his administration’s determination to guarantee credible elections in 2023 and solicits the cooperation of all citizens and strategic stakeholders, particularly, members of the fourth estate of the realm,” NPF spokesman, Olumuyiwa Adejobi, said.
The force has recently distributed five combat gunboats, 221 patrol vehicles, 200 operational vehicles, 5 160 Civil Disorder Control Equipment and 6 723 bullet-proof vests.
Over 5 000 ballistic helmets, 2 100 anti-riot helmets, five unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and three combat drones have been distributed.
Elections are projected to be a two-horse race between the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and People’s Democratic Party (PDP).
Bola Tinubu and Atiku Abubakar are the presidential candidates respectively.
Former governors, Rabiu Kwankwaso (New Nigeria Peoples Party) and Peter Obi (Labour Party), are rank outsiders.
Muhammadu Buhari, current president, is ineligible because of term limits.
Attacks at campaign rallies and convoys of some presidential hopefuls as well as INEC facilities have marred the run-up.
– CAJ News