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Rules on Edo, Ondo gubernatorial polls to be set by INEC, NSA, and IGP

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Professor Mahmood Yakubu, Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC); Major-General Babagana Monguno, National Security Adviser, NSA and the Inspector General of Police, Muhammed Adamu, signed the code of conduct for all security personnel that will be involved in the governorship elections in Edo and Ondo States.

The code of conduct document also included members of the inter-agency Consultative Committee on Election Security personnel on electoral duties and ICCES.

The INEC boss had earlier warned that if anybody disturbs the electoral process in Edo and Ondo States in which the commission cannot assure on the integrity of the process, they will not make any declaration.

Also in the code of conduct document, Mr. Yakubu signed together with the NSA and IGP, it says all the venues to be used will be vetted for any explosive device and that provisions were made on how to act in any case of an explosion.

The document read in parts, stated that, except for personal deployment on covert operations, all personnel on electoral assignment will make sure they come neatly with their proscribed uniform and tag names, which must be easily identified to the public.

It also said ICCES might from time to time give a common for all security agencies to identify themselves when on duty.

It says that those personnel in covert operations should make sure that they appear neat, showing strict regard for the authorised identification card. Also, officers engaged in controlling traffic should ensure that they put on white gloves and armbands.

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It says no unauthorised kits like horsewhip, cudgel, and so on should be brought by any personnel on election duty. Also, it said no security personnel deployed to the polling unit should be allowed to possess arms.

It said that only prescribed and riot equipment will be used by personnel, who are expected to have them. It said that clearly marked vehicles are to be utilised for election exercise. It also said the use of private vehicles to convey security personnel on duty is highly prohibited.

It also said notebooks will be carried, where important events which might occur will be recorded, in the view of the fact that security personnel can personally be called to give account for their actions and inactions while they are on election duty.

Also, the code of conduct document mentioned that at all venues of electoral engagement, assigned officers will spot areas to be classified as inner and outer rings respectively to serve as a guide in deployment.

It says on no account should security personnel deployed to the inner ring of the venue of the polling units be given any gun except a baton. It says the involvement of police officers in any political gathering will be severely restricted to the maintenance of public peace and order and enforcement of the extant laws.

It stipulated that must at all times exercise maximum restraint while securing public gatherings or taken to voting or collation centres. Also, it says officers must not turn themselves into spectators but shall all time s be vigilant of happenings around them, and observe personal safety and precautionary measures while on duty.

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Finally, the document stated that security personnel should be tactful and persuasive in resolving disputes when dealing with agitated people. It said cases should be referred to senior officers or supervising officers to avoid situations spiraling out of control whenever there is tension.

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Abudulrasheed Mubarak is a freelance content creator. He starting his writing career in 2011. He is a graduate of Auchi Polytechnic, Auchi in Urban and Regional Planning.