The police may soon withdraw all its personnel that were attached to politicians, individuals and Very Important Personalities, as part of measures to ensure full security for the forthcoming elections.
It was gathered that the thousands of policemen providing protection to VIPs and other private individuals would be redeployed for election duties.
The policemen serving as escorts to private individuals were usually assigned by the Special Protection Unit of the Nigeria Police Force on application from interested individuals.
Inspector-General of Police, Suleiman Abba, had said that about 300, 000 officers would provide security during the polls.
According to him the personnel had been trained on their roles during elections in partnership with the Independent National Electoral Commission and development partners.
“Policing the society has always been a challenge; all the police officers will be deployed in the elections; over 300, 000 officers will be used. The Commonwealth has also offered to help us in that respect of training by January 21. Some of the training are even train-the-trainers until it gets to the last person on their roles during the election,” he said.
Findings indicate that hundreds of policemen had been assigned to politicians, and political parties’ candidates in the last six months.
Checks show that the SPU usually assigns between two to four policemen to those requesting for special protection from the police, based on perception of threat to the applicant.
The Force Public Relations Officer, Emmanuel Ojukwu, on Monday confirmed that all the policemen on special protection duty would be redeployed for election security, adding that a signal would soon be sent to that effect.
He said, “We are going to withdraw all policemen attached to individuals; the election is a national assignment and all policemen will be on duty during the polls. They will be withdrawn before the elections.”
Meanwhile, the police have dismissed the threat by Boko Haram that it would disrupt elections in Gombe and other states in North-East, saying necessary security would be put in place to deter attacks on voters.
Ojukwu who described the insurgents’ threat as empty, noted that the security arrangement for other parts of the country is in place, adding that security in the north-east would be managed by the military.