The upcoming presidential and National Assembly elections scheduled for Saturday, February 25, 2023, is a significant event for Nigeria. With the aim of ensuring a safe and secure environment for the elections, the Inspector-General of Police, Usman Baba, has ordered a restriction of all forms of vehicular movement on roads, waterways, and other forms of transportation from 12 am to 6 pm on election day.
The restriction order, which includes private and commercial vehicles, is aimed at preventing any form of disturbance or disruption during the elections.
However, certain categories of people are exempted from this order, including essential service providers like officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission, electoral observers, ambulance services, firefighters, and other emergency response services.
The spokesperson for the Nigerian Police Force (NPF), Olumuyiwa Adejobi, confirmed the order in a statement released on Wednesday night. According to him, the Inspector-General of Police issued the order to ensure public order management, the safety of electorates, and assist security agencies in effective policing.
Additionally, the restriction order is expected to prevent hoodlums and criminally-minded individuals from causing mayhem during the election. With the restriction of vehicular movement, it is easier for security operatives to monitor and control the movement of people, thereby preventing any form of violence or electoral malpractice.
The NPF spokesperson also emphasized that the order is part of a series of measures put in place to ensure a safe and conducive environment for the conduct of the elections. The police force is working with other relevant agencies to ensure that the election is free, fair, and transparent.
Furthermore, Adejobi warned all security aides and escorts to desist from accompanying their principals and politicians to polling booths and collation centers during the election.
This is in line with the directive that only security personnel specifically assigned to election duties are to be seen within and around the designated election booths and centers. Anyone found flouting this directive will be severely sanctioned.
The restriction of vehicular movement is a vital step towards ensuring a peaceful and secure election. The NPF and other relevant agencies are committed to ensuring that the election is free and fair.
As such, it is important for citizens to comply with the order and conduct themselves in a peaceful manner during the election. The success of the election depends on the cooperation of all stakeholders, and it is the duty of every Nigerian to contribute towards making the 2023 general elections a success.