By Deborah Coker
Benin, Sept. 16, 2020 The Inter-Agencies Consultative Committee on Election Security has set up a joint control room with dedicated lines for members of the public during Saturday’s governorship poll in Edo.
The Deputy Inspector-General (DIG) of Police in charge of the poll, Adeleye Oyebade, made the disclosure on Wednesday during the committee’s news briefing in Benin.
Oyebade said the numbers to be used by the public, especially during emergencies, included 08154352118 for calls only and 08154350436 for WhatsApp and SMS.
He also said that the control room would be manned by representatives of all the security agencies in the state.
The DIG said that Saturday’s poll would serve as another litmus test to determine the strength or otherwise of the nation’s democratic process.
He said that elections in the country had often been marred by a plethora of malpractices and violence.
He further said that the objective of the inter-agencies was to provide an enabling environment for a free and fair poll that would remain a reference point in election security.
Oyebade said: “Previous elections may have had their challenges.
“It is our resolve to improve on them and make the 2020 Edo governorship election freer, better, more inclusive, safer and more credible.
“The credibility of this election remains our major focus.”
He said that the committee was set up as part of the sincere efforts to ensure security for elections.
The DIG also said that the committee was replicated at the local government level with membership drawn from the police and Armed Forces.
Others included representives of the Department of State Services, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, Nigeria Immigration Service and Independent National Electoral Commission, among others.
He further said that the committee was to ensure transparent, peaceful, free, fair and credible election that met international best practices.
He said that adequate security, comprising conventional, plain-cloth policemen and Special Forces had been deployed “to provide robust security before, during and after the election.”
Oyebade also said that security threat analysis had been carried out and that all the identified vulnerable points, entry and exit points were mapped out for special security coverage.
He further said that the military was expected to perform its required complementary role of outer cordoning.
He said that police operatives had been properly briefed on their expected roles and conduct during the poll.
Oyebade said that the operatives would adhere strictly to the principles and rules of the code of conduct for officers and men of the Nigerian Police Force.
“All other security personnel deployed for the election must adhere to the code of conduct and rules of engagement on election duty.
“For effective manning of the polling booths, no fewer than three police officers and personnel from other security agencies will be deployed in each of the 2,627 polling booths,” the DIG said.