The Commandant General, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, Ahmed Audi, on Wednesday, tasked its officers to protect offices and facilities of the Independent National Electoral Commission across Nigeria to prevent further attacks.
Audi gave the warning at a two-day capacity building for all State Commandants and the Management of the NSCDC in preparation for the 2023 general elections in Abuja.
Recently, the INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, at the Institute of International Affairs (Chatham House) gave assurance that the Nigerian government is providing top-priority intervention in terms of security despite its threat to the election.
Also, the issue raised by foreign diplomats towards the successful conduct of the 2023 polls due to security threats occasioned by violence in the political rally/campaigns of certain parties, and hate speeches have generated cause for concern in recent times.
In his remarks, the NSCDC boss said INEC facilities are critical infrastructures that require tight protection from the Corps in order not to obstruct the forthcoming election.
He said “However, despite the recorded incidences, the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps has vested in and will continuously provide an enabling environment to officers and men in order for the optimal discharge of Corps’ mandates in this regard, most especially in the protection of critical national assets and infrastructures and other emanating security disturbances that arises from the election cycle phases.
“The Corps is foremost for promoting effective Interagency collaboration, cooperation and coordination. As such, the Corps is also prepared to give support to the Nigeria Police Force and other stakeholders in achieving an effective electoral security management objective within the elections timeline.
“But make sure INEC offices are safe and secured. We must protect INEC offices because they are critical infrastructures. You are directed to give very scientific protection to INEC; both physical and otherwise because we will not take for granted any further attacks. You must do your best to provide security.”
The CG also expressed concern about the high level of insecurity in the South East explaining that the security agency has a special strategy to tackle the menace in the zone.
He said “The South East is a particular issue but we have a strategy in place.
“There are certain security strategies that we can’t disclose but we are working on it.”