Election security: There's nothing to fear, Lagos Police Commissioner assures voters

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PIC.14.-GOV.-FASHOLA-VISITS-POLICE-ICT-RESOURCE-CENTRE-IN-OGUDUThe Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Mr Kayode Aderanti on Wednesday said that the force had put in place a comprehensive security arrangement for voters to perform their civic responsibilities during the elections.

Aderanti spoke at the INEC’s final Stakeholders’ Forum in Lagos, held at Ikeja, ahead of the elections.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) will conduct Presidential and National Assembly Elections on Saturday.

The police commissioner said: “We want to assure everybody, especially the voting public, that we
have put in a very comprehensive security arrangement that will really ensure that voting is conducted in a very peaceful manner.

“We are going to be on ground and we are going to be on ground firmly; we are going to ensure that all polling units are covered.

“There is nothing to fear, you are going to see us everywhere and we are going to ensure that your votes actually count,’’ he said.

Reacting to a question on whether members of the Oodua Peoples Congress (OPC) would be involved in the electoral security, he said there was not going to be anything like that.

“OPC is not involved in this security arrangement, they are not involved, they should not make any attempt to come,’’ he said.

The police boss said that the law prohibited anybody to be in possession of any arms, weapon or to wear any dress which can intimidate voters.

Earlier, Mr Akin Orebiyii, the state’s Resident Electoral Commissioner of INEC said that the state was in the process of collecting the sensitive materials from the Central Bank of Nigeria for the Saturday
polls.

Orebiyii said that the materials would be moved to the state headquarters of INEC under the watch of security agents, observers and party agents.

“The sensitive materials are specifically the ballot papers and result sheets. They are customized for each state and also have serial number.

“`These are coded numbers in order to prevent the practice of people hijacking ballot papers, we have made sure that these papers cannot be duplicated or printed by anybody,’’ he said.

Orebiyii said that the ballot papers would be deployed to the 20 Local Government
Offices of INEC on Friday morning.

According to him, they will be shared to 245 Wards and by Saturday morning they would be distributed to the 8, 462 polling units in the state from early as 5:00am.

Orebiyi said INEC expected its officials and materials to be at all polling units by 7.00a.m. ahead of the 8.00a.m. take-off of accreditation.

He said that the movement and distribution of all materials would be under security escort and watchful eyes of party agents to enhance openness.

Orebiyii, however, apologised to people who had difficulties in accessing the Permanent Voter Cards, stressing that the commission had extended the distribution of cards that arrived late till today
(Wednesday) at polling units.

He said that voters were allowed to monitor their votes from about 30 metres away from polling booths, urging them, however, to be well-behaved.

The INEC boss urged voters to arrive at the polling units on time for both accreditation and voting.

According to him, prospective voters should be at their polling units at 8am for accreditation and as early as 1pm to also be counted for voting, which would start at 1: 30 pm.

NAN reports that representatives of all security agencies, religious leaders, international observers, party executives and some candidates were in attendance. (NAN)

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