As the nation prepares for the 2015 general elections, the Nigerian Police and the Department of State Security, DSS, have issued directives and safety tips to guide the conduct of intending voters during Saturday’s presidential elections.
The Inspector-General of Police, IGP, Suleiman Abba, on Wednesday warned against the deployment of uniformed private/government security agencies and voluntary organisations such as Boys Scout, Vigilante Group, Boys Brigade, Peace Ambassador, and Man’O War anywhere near polling units on election day.
In a statement issued by the Force’s public relations officer, Emmanuel Ojukwu, the IGP warned that “on no account should uniformed private/government security agencies and voluntary organisations such as Boys Scout, Vigilante Group, Boys Brigade, Peace Ambassador, Man’O War etc, be seen in uniform within 300 metres of a Polling unit”.
The IGP also reiterated the restriction order placed on vehicular movement during the general elections on 28th March, 2015 and 11th April, 2015, respectively, which bans movement of vehicles from 8.00am to 5.00pm on both election days.
Abba reminded the public of their civic responsibility of obedience to all laws, advising voters in particular and the general public to conduct themselves peacefully to ensure for free, fair and violence-free elections.
While reassuring the public of the Force’s commitment to the providing round-the-clock security before, during and after the general elections, the IGP also warned politicians and influential persons to desist from going to polling units on the day of the election with armed orderlies.
He further stated that the use of siren, revolving lights and tinted glasses by unauthorised citizens would not be allowed during the election period.
In the same vein, the DSS in a release issued by its spokesperson, Marilyn Ogar, assured registered voters that their security would guaranteed as they go out to exercise their civic responsibility on election day.
The DSS however also advised voters to be vigilant and security conscious while exercising while generally taking note of events around them.
“They should remain vigilant in crowded environments before, during and after the elections and abide by all stipulated guidelines emplaced to ensure peaceful conduct,” the statement read.
It stated further: “Voters are advised to be weary of persons in loose or bulky midriff clothings, which are inappropriate for the weather, look out for unattended bags, luggage, dustbins, strange containers and other suspicious items,” the statement read.”
Also discouraging all forms of trading and commercial activities, the DSS advised that vehicles, motorcycles, tricycles and bicycles must be parked far away from the polling stations while all suspicious persons, activities and movements should be promptly reported to security agents.