NSCDC in Rivers set for March 18 elections – Commandant

NSCDC Rivers

Mr Michael Ogar, the Commandant of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) in Rivers, says plans have been finalised to ensure a smooth Governorship and State Assembly elections in the state.

According to a statement released by the command’s spokesperson, DSC Olufemi Ayodele in Port Harcourt on Thursday, Ogar provided the assurance while speaking to senior officers in the command.

The March 11 elections were delayed by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) until March 18 so that it could reconfigure its Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) machines.

According to him, 6,000 people from various command units would be sent to the 23 Rivers Local Government Areas in time for the elections.

“The 6,000 personnel will be drawn from departments, such as general duty, operations, anti-vandal, marine, counter terrorism as well as from our Special Forces units.

“Our personnel will provide adequate security and will be stationed across the 4,442 Polling Units in 319 Wards in the state, to ensure people cast their votes without fear or panic.

“Aside this, we will cover both the land and waterways while our gunboats and operational vehicles will be deployed for easy patrol, quick response and emergencies,” he said.

Ogar said that NSCDC Commandant-General, Dr Ahmed Audi had directed officers and men of the corps to be apolitical and conduct themselves professionally during the polls.

According to him, NSCDC operatives will be on polling units to ensure orderliness; protect INEC staff as well as secure election materials.

“So, in tandem with the directives, personnel are expected to be regimental, disciplined, neutral and conduct themselves professionally when relating with civilians.

“We must avoid any act of brutality and infringement on the fundamental rights of the voters as well as shun any act that will be inimical to the image of the corps.

“Similarly, personnel must give preferential treatment to senior citizens and people living with disabilities during the polls,” he stated.

Ogar explained that the election security architecture would be spearheaded by the Police while NSCDC and other security outfits would play a complimentary role at the polls.

The NSCDC commandant gave the assurance that security agencies had put robust measures in place in collaboration with INEC to ensure the smooth conduct of the March 18 elections.

“So, all security agencies on election duty must work together in order to achieve the same goal of providing an enabling environment for free, fair and credible elections,” he added. (NAN)

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