The Commandant General of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, Dr Ahmed Audi, has said that 20,000 NSCDC operatives have been deployed for the governorship election in Anambra holding on Saturday.
He said the deployment was meant to forestall attacks on voters and ensure a hitch-free electoral process.
Speaking during a situational assessment visit to Anambra State ahead of the poll, Audi also cautioned security operatives against excessive use of force during the election.
This was contained in a statement on Friday by the NSCDC spokesman, Olusola Odumosu, titled, ‘Anambra election: NSCDC boss reads the Riot Act to personnel on election duty.’
The CG expressed confidence in the Independent National Electoral Commission and all stakeholders involved in the electioneering process, assuring that the election would hold peacefully and successfully without rancour or acrimony, noting that the Corps is working with other agencies to forestall any form of attack on voters, security agencies, sensitive and non-sensitive election materials, and INEC staff.
Audi made it clear to the personnel on election duty that the rules of engagement must be strictly adhered to, stressing that the men must also observe “the highest level of professionalism, civility, decorum and respect for the rights of all voters coming out to exercise their franchise in order to elect the next governor for the state.”
The statement read in part, “Dr Audi warned the personnel to be civil in their approach and avoid excessive use of force, molestation, intimidation or harassment of voters during the election.
“Reiterating that the corps has a duty to protect lives and property of all citizens of the state, irrespective of their political affinity, he emphasised that the NSCDC is apolitical in nature, civil in orientation but very dogged in its operations.
“He appealed to the citizens of the state to embrace peace and eschew violence or anything that is capable of jeopardising the democratic process as the election is not war, hence, the need to avoid unnecessary casualties.
“He reiterated that the corps will be deploying 20,000 personnel drawn from Anambra and other neighbouring state commands to all nooks and crannies of the state for overt and covert operations.”