In a bid to ensure the smooth conduct of bye-elections across 26 states on Saturday, Inspector General of Police (IG), Olukayode Egbetokun, has issued strict directives, including a comprehensive restriction of vehicular movement and a ban on security aides accompanying VIPs to polling booths and collation centers.
The affected states, ranging from Ebonyi to Zamfara, will witness a complete restriction of all forms of transportation, including roads, waterways, and other means, from 12 am to 6 pm on election day. This measure is aimed at fostering a secure and unbiased electoral process, allowing exceptions only for essential personnel such as INEC officials, accredited journalists, election observers, ambulances, and firefighters.
Lagos, specifically, will witness a bye-election in Surelere 1 Federal Constituency, following the vacancy left by former Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila, who now serves as the Chief of Staff to President Bola Tinubu.
Furthermore, the IG has taken a decisive step by ordering a ban on all security aides accompanying VIPs and politicians to polling booths and collation centers during the election. This move seeks to prevent undue interference or intimidation during the electoral process.
Force Public Relations Officer, Olumuyiwa Adejobi, emphasized the importance of these measures, stating, “The movement restrictions, including the ban on VIP aides, escorts, and state security outfits, are crucial measures aimed at preventing any undue interference or intimidation during the electoral process.”
Adejobi stressed that state-established and owned security outfits, quasi-security units, and privately owned guard and security outfits are also prohibited from participating in election security management.
The IG urged political parties, candidates, and supporters to adhere to electoral laws, emphasizing that any attempt to disrupt the process or violate guidelines would be met with the full force of the law.
He expressed confidence that the collective efforts of all stakeholders would ensure the upcoming run-off and bye-elections are conducted peacefully, transparently, and in line with democratic principles. Citizens are encouraged to report any suspicious activities to the appropriate authorities to uphold the integrity of the electoral process.