As the nation counts down to the 2023 general elections, the commandant General (CG) of Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Dr Ahmed Abubakar Audi, has given a marching order to zonal commanders and state commandants to stop the attacks on INEC facilities or materials nationwide.
Audi gave this order at the last CG’S Quarterly Conference for Zonal Commanders and State Commandants for year 2022, held at the National headquarters, Sauka, Abuja.
The NSCDC boss charged zonal and state heads to activate their intelligence antennas, warning that they would be held responsible for any attack in their jurisdictions.
“We decided to assemble our colleagues from the zones and states to take stock of what we have been doing so far and then re-echo to ourselves the need to strengthen our efforts in fighting this monster, insecurity,” Audi said.
He added, “You know that by the virtue of our Acts, it is our duty to provide security and protection for critical national assets and infrastructure.
“We are going to hold our commandants responsible if there is any attack on INEC facilities in any state. Just work very closely with your counterpart in the police and other security agencies to protect these INEC offices.
“It is better to prevent than to do damage control, damage control is usually capital-intensive.”
The CG reiterated that the corps had already begun strategising towards ensuring effective and adequate security to guarantee, free, fair, credible and transparent 2023 general elections.
He assured that the corps would leave no stone unturned in ensuring that miscreants ‘who have devised new means of attacking INEC facilities are brought to book’.
Quoting him, “In the next two to three weeks, the nation is going to begin serious preparations for the general elections, so, this conference is apt, central and germane.
“There is no way that non state actors will surpass the powers of the state. So, we must live up to expectations and uphold the confidence that government has in us.”
On the synergy with other stakeholders on election matters, the CG directed state commandants to work closely with the police who arr the lead agency in internal security and other relevant agencies in the area of joint operations to protect the people and pave way for a hitch free polls next year.
He called on zonal commanders to brace for the crucial moment, mandating them to take full charge of the states under their jurisdiction and furnish his office with report of day to day activities in their various zones.
“You must coordinate your states effectively and submit minute-by-minute reports. You must organise workshops for personnel to keep them abreast of the electoral laws as enshrined in the Electoral Act as ammended.
“They must know the rules of engagement. You know our position. You are supposed to be apolitical. If you choose to be partisan, you are on your own.”