Police restrict movement tomorrow in Abuja over council polls



• NSCDC deploys 2,000 personnel • Stakeholders seek peaceful elections

AS the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) prepares to conduct council elections in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), the police have issued a movement restriction in the nation’s capital tomorrow.

A statement issued yesterday in Abuja by the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Anjuguri Manzah, said the FCT Commissioner of Police (CP), Wilson Inalegwu, ordered the restriction of vehicular movement from 7:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. local time, saying it “is part of the security measures adopted by the command to ensure safety and security during the elections.”

Apart from the fact that those on essential duty like the media and election monitors are allowed movement, Inalegwu said: “It is pertinent to state that this restriction excludes vehicles on essential duty such as Fire Service, Ambulances and vehicles used by Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and law enforcement/security agencies.”

The statement assured FCT residents “that the Command has strategically deployed its personnel, who had been properly briefed on their roles as stipulated in the Electoral Act and logistics to achieve conducive election atmosphere. Residents are therefore enjoined to be vigilant and co-operate with the police and other security agencies by reporting suspicious movements and activities.”

Besides, the Commandant General (CG) of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Abdullahi Gana Muhammadu, has ordered the deployment of 2,000 NSCDC personnel for the FCT election holding tomorrow, noting that keen attention would be given the upcoming elections in the country.

The CG, who stated this while addressing officers and men at the Corps’ headquarters in Abuja on the need for personnel to deliver on the NSCDC constitutional mandate before, during and after elections, said the FCT election should serve as a paradigm to any other elections to be conducted elsewhere in Nigeria.

He called on INEC to rise up to the occasion once more and be the unblemished umpire, as the conduct of free and fair elections both in the FCT and other parts of Nigeria is their sole task to perform while the assistance from all security agencies is participatory, as they are to ensure law and order which are all offspring of peace.

Meanwhile, stakeholders in the FCT have called on political gladiators and their followers to ensure peaceful council polls tomorrow.

At a town hall meeting yesterday in preparation for the elections in Abuja, Minister of the FCT, Mohammed Bello, security agencies, religious leaders, civil society groups, traditional rulers and market women all bear their minds on the imperativeness of peaceful elections in the FCT.

The minister said players should understand that election is the bedrock of democracy and that in every context, winners and losers will emerge. He enjoined those who may lose the elections to take the result in good faith and allow peace to reign in the FCT.

Citing the peaceful election conducted in Niger Republic, the Minister of Defence, Mansur Dan-Ali, who wondered why Nigeria that is said to be the giant of Africa could not conduct election without rancour, said other countries should see Nigeria as example of good behaviour and initiatives.

The FCT Chairman of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Revd. Israel Akanji, said residents should practise the peace they preach in their individual religion, noting that there is no basis for preaching peace if people cannot show some level of restrain during elections.

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