As part of efforts to ensure hitch free election, the Acting Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mohammed Adamu, has disclosed that the Police Mobile Force (PMF), will be in charge of the protection of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) officials, local and international observers, and other sensitive materials.
The Police boss also said they will be deployed to strategic locations across the country so as to quickly respond to any security threat.
He assured Nigerians and the international community that the Officers that would be deployed on election security operations have been adequately exposed to tailor-made professional trainings towards ensuring that they undertake their duties in the most civil manner.
Adamu made this known in Abuja during a meeting with the Squadron Commanders of the 68 PMF squadrons across the country.
Giving details of the roles to be carried out by the Commanders and the entire unit during the election, Adamu said: “The mandate of the Police Mobile Force as prescribed in Section 25 of the Police Act Cap 359, Laws of the Federation 1990 is to act as a strike Force that can rapidly be deployed as a cohesive specialized Police component to complement the conventional Police detachments in performing critical internal security assignments. They could also be deployed to support the Military in national security operations. It is within this context, that the Police Mobile Force are currently actively involved in the counter terrorism campaign in the North East and other special operations along with the military in other parts of the country.
“In line with its mandate, and in relation to the election security plans, the Police Mobile Force will be deployed to provide robust protection for local and international election observers, INEC Officials and sensitive electoral materials as well as critical national infrastructures.
“They shall also be engaged in supporting the other arms of the Force in undertaking intelligence-led operations in areas identified as high risk in the threat analysis report.
He continued: “The Police Mobile Units shall be located at strategic places across the country to respond swiftly to any security threat, while also undertaking street patrols to deter criminal acts in the course of the elections. Details of this deployment shall form part of our discussion during this conference.”
Adamu also called on politicians and the electorate to place national security interest above their personal interests and be guided by the overriding obligation to situate all their actions within extant rules.
“The Police under my watch are firmly committed to ensuring a robust election security management that will guarantee a conducive environment for citizens to freely exercise their electoral franchise. Nonetheless, we are fully prepared to deploy our uniquely potent assets to deal decisively with any individual or group that may attempt to threaten our internal security interests before, during or after the general elections.”