The Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) has deployed 7,079 personnel and sniffer dogs alongside mobile surveillance vehicles for Saturday’s Ondo governorship election.
The Commandant-General, NSCDC, Abdullahi Gana, disclosed this in a statement signed by the Corps spokesperson, Emmanuel Okeh, and made available to the News Agency of Nigeria, (NAN) on Tuesday in Abuja.
Mr Gana disclosed that the deployed personnel were drawn from Lagos, Edo, Kwara, Ekiti, Ogun, Osun and Kogi states.
He said that the deployed men were drawn from the SWAT unit, Counter Terrorism unit (CTU), Chemical Biological Radioactive Nuclear and Energy unit (CBRNE), Kernnel (K9), Disaster response unit.
“Medical, Crisis Management, Special Force, Anti-vandalism unit and Critical Protection Unit (CIPU).
“CIPU would be deployed for the protection of Critical Infrastructure and National Assets, which are easy targets of vandalism during and after elections.
“The surveillance and intelligence have been deployed ahead of the election for covert operations and provision of 24 hours surveillance.
“Personnel deployed have been trained on the protocols of COVID-19 and would all be provided with face masks and hand sanitizers.
“The operations by the Corps during the election would be led by the Deputy Commandant General (DCG) Operations, 4 Assistant Commandant Generals and 7 Commandants,” he said.
The CG directed Deputy Commandant General Kelechi Madu, Operations Team Lead, to ensure that personnel remained apolitical and avoid any form of compromises in the conduct of their electoral assignment.
Mr Gana said that the Corps was prepared to cooperate and synergise with other security agencies to ensure the safety of all residents as well as electoral officials and materials before, during and after the election.
“Synergy amongst security operatives is essential because no man can achieve success alone as good team work at all times helps guarantee huge success,” he said.
He charged politicians within and outside the state to play by the rules, avoid violence and support the drive of President Muhammadu Buhari to ensure free and fair election at all levels.
According to him, electoral activities should not be a ‘do or die affair’ because whether they win or lose, Ondo State remains.
The CG urged Ondo indigenes to go out en masse to exercise their franchise without fear or favour, and in doing so, vote the candidate of their choice without any recourse to fear or intimidation.
Army Chief Commends
In another development, the Chief of Army Staff, Tukur Baratai, has commended the officers and men of Nigerian Army for the display of professionalism during the September 19 governorship election in Edo.
Mr Buratai gave the commendation at the opening of the Chief of Army Staff’s combined first, second and third Quarters conference on Tuesday in Maiduguri.
He said the performance of officers and men of the Nigerian army during the election was adjudged satisfactory and highly commended by all sections of the society.
Mr Buratai said their conduct was in tune with his strategic directive for 2020 which is ‘’To Sustain the Professionalism and Responsiveness of the Nigerian Army in the Discharge of its Constitutional Roles’’.
He said he was happy that his directive on professional conduct was permeating through the ranks as was evident during the recent conduct of Operation Safe Conduct in Edo State.
“On this note, I want to congratulate the GOC, officers and men of the 2 Division Nigerian Army for their professional conduct during the Edo State election.
“This is the standard that must be upheld always and I expect nothing less in the coming Ondo State governorship election on the 10th of October.
“We must continue to chart progressive paths towards tackling the security challenges confronting the nation,’’ he said.
Mr Buratai also stated that the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic impacted on the activities of Nigerian army, adding that it was however, able to quickly adjust with minimal disruptions of its operations.
He said the pandemic was also responsible for his inability to host the conference in the first and second quarters hence the need to combine the three quarters.
According to him, this combined conference will enable us to appraise the level of implementation of the Nigerian army focus for the year 2020 and the year 2020 training directive.
“The conference will also afford the opportunity to hold discussions on current operational, administrative and logistics matters as well as other security issues that are crucial to the sovereignty of our dear country.
“It is quite evident that the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted the implementation of Nigerian Army forecast of events for 2020 and by extension my training directives for the year.
“However, it afforded us the opportunity to test some of our concepts and plans accordingly,’’ he said.
Buratai disclosed that the Nigerian army provided support to the civil authorities in managing the pandemic in compliance with the request by the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19.
He added that he also directed the activation of Operation Second Eleven to forestall any breakdown of law and order across the country.
“Also, our medical personnel were trained as part of the national effort at containing the pandemic and some Nigerian army medical facilities were designated as isolation centres.
“Various personal protective equipment were also procured and distributed to all formations and units including the various theatres of operations.
“The low incidence of COVID-19 outbreak among troops and in army barracks is a testament to the effectiveness of the proactive steps that we took at the onset of the pandemic.
“However, I am sure that we will have a course during the conference to review our actions with a view to identifying strategies for addressing similar challenges in the future,’’ he said.
The Chief of Policy and Plans, Army, Lamidi Adeosun, said the COAS’ strategic directive for 2020 had enabled the Nigerian Army to play a critical role in the management of COVID-19 pandemic.
Mr Adeosun said the full application of the directive by the commanders in various operations across the country had further endeared the Nigerian Army to the citizenry and made it a pride of the nation.
“This conference is therefore an opportunity for us to appraise our activities in the first, second and third quarters of the year and refine strategies toward impending operations and activities in the fourth quarter.
“I enjoin you all to raise issues and points that would address our operational and administrative challenges and also lead to informed decisions that will enhance the performance of NA in the discharge of its constitutional duties,’’ he said. (NAN)