By ZAKAA LAZARUS -Abuja
The Inspector-General of Police (I-G), Mr Kayode Egbetokun has ordered restriction of movements in 26 states, ahead of Saturday’s re-run and by-election.
The IGP who gave the directive in a statement by the Force spokesman, ACP Olumuywa Adejobi on Thursday in Abuja, said the restriction applied to all forms of vehicular movement on roads, waterways and other forms of transportation.
The I-G said the restriction would take effect from 12 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Election Day in all states where election would be conducted.
He said that those on essential services, INEC officials, electoral observers, accredited media and observers, both foreign and domestic, ambulances responding to medical emergencies and firefighters would be exempted from the restriction.
Egbetokun also ordered a ban on all security aides to VIPs and escorts from accompanying their principals and politicians to polling booths and collation centres during the election.
“State-established and owned security outfits and organisations, quasi-security units and privately owned guard and security outfits are also barred from participating in election.
“The movement restrictions, including the ban on VIP aides, escorts, and state security outfits, are crucial measures aimed at preventing any undue interference or intimidation during the election,” he said.
The police boss said the idea was to safeguard the integrity of the election and guarantee equal participation for all citizens in the affected states.
He urged political parties, candidates and their supporters to conduct themselves responsibly, in accordance with the electoral laws.
Egbetokun said any attempt to disrupt the process or violate the established guidelines would be met with the full force of the law.
The I-G pledged the commitment of the police to foster a secured democratic society and enjoined citizens to report suspicious activities or incidents that could undermine the electoral process to the appropriate authorities.
He said the authorities could be reached through 08034040439, CP Elections, 08031230631, Toll Free, 08057000001, 08057000002, Complaint Response Unit, @ngpolice, Facebook, @PoliceNG, X or firstname.lastname@example.org, e-mail.
Egbetokun expressed confidence that through collective efforts, the run-off and by-election would be conducted peacefully, transparently and in line with the principles of democracy.
The states affected included Ebonyi, Yobe, Kebbi, Lagos, Ondo, Taraba, Benue, Borno, Kaduna, Plateau, Akwa Ibom, Anambra, Cross River, Delta, Enugu, Jigawa, Katsina, Adamawa, Bauchi, Bayelsa, Kano, Nasarawa, Niger, Oyo, Sokoto, and Zamfara.