The Inspector General of Police Mohammed Adamu has warned intending ballot box snatchers to have a rethink as armed policemen on patrol would deal with anyone caught with a ballot box or involved in other electoral offences.
He said, “Voting proper is taking place today. I have explained to Nigerians that the electorate, observers, INEC staff, electoral materials are all secure. Maximum security is provided before, during and after the elections.
“In the polling booth or polling unit, there will be no fewer than three security personnel to protect the electorate, INEC and electoral materials. The personnel there will not be armed and there will be no need for apprehension while the elections are going on. We have some group of people who may want to disrupt the elections; we have put in place a strategy to stop that.
“We have a tactical unit of our personnel and other services that will be patrolling everywhere to ensure the process is not disrupted. And the patrolling personnel will be armed and will deal with anybody who wants to disrupt the process during the course of the elections. If any electoral offence is committed, we will work with the INEC officials to apprehend the culprits and set up investigative team headed by the commissioner of police in charge of legal (matters) to investigate the cases and prosecute them.
“Be it vote-buying, ballot box snatching or thuggery, if you commit any, you will be arrested and prosecuted. After the voting, the movement of electoral materials to the collation centres will be protected. Armed security personnel will be posted to the ward collation centres.”
He added, “Even when the results are announced, for those people planning to disrupt it, we have put strategies in place to prevent that. So, what we require from all Nigerians is to go out peacefully, cast your votes and wait for the announcement of the results.
“You have no business moving about on election day if you are not an accredited official. Please don’t come out. All the accredited officials, whether domestic or foreign observers, must carry their tags; you can move freely and be protected.”