By Tobias Lengnan Dapam
The Commandant General of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, Ahmed Audi, paid a situational assessment visit to Anambra State ahead of the governorship election.
He read the Riot Act to personnel and charged them on the use of minimum force and utmost professional conduct during the exercise.
A statement issued yesterday by NSCDC spokesperson, Olusola Odumosu said the CG made it clear to the Corps personnel deployed for election duty in Anambra state that the rules of engagement must be strictly adhered to and all must 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.
He expressed confidence in the preparedness of INEC and all stakeholders involved in the electioneering process, reassuring that the election will hold peacefully and successfully without rancor or acrimony as the Corps is working in synergy and collaboration with other sister agencies to forestall any form of attack on voters, security agencies, sensitive and non-sensitive election materials, INEC permanent and ad-hoc staff and all other apparatuses deployed to ensure a hitch free election.
Dr Audi warned 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. Emphasizing that NSCDC is apolitical in nature, civil in orientation but very dogged in its operations.
He appealed to all citizens of the state to embrace peace and eschew violence or anything that is capable of jeopardizing the democratic process as election is not war, hence, the need to avoid unnecessary casualties.
Dr Audi further urged the people of the state to be law abiding and go about their legitimate businesses without any fear of violent or deadly attacks as measures have been put in place ahead of the process to guarantee a well secured environment and arrest any breach of peace or vandalism of critical national assets and infrastructure of government before, during and after the election.
The statement said the CG reiterated that the Corps will be deploying the twenty thousand (20) personnel drawn from Anambra state and other neighbouring state commands to all nooks and crannies of the state for overt and covert operations.
“Warning the arms bearing personnel that accidental discharge is not contained in the Corps’ Standard Operating Procedure (SOP), as such, no one should be found wanting in this regard because human life is very sacrosanct and any personnel that takes law into his hands by killing or maiming anyone unjustly will be seriously dealt with.”