IGP orders restriction of movement on Election Day

Ahead of the gubernatorial and state assembly elections on March 18, the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Usman Baba, has ordered the restriction of all vehicular movement on roads, waterways, and other modes of transportation from 12 a.m. to 6 p.m. on voting day.

However, officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), observers of the election, accredited journalists and observers, and emergency responders are exempt.

“This directive excludes the Federal Capital Territory as no election is being conducted therein,” said Force Spokesman, Muyiwa Adejobi.

“Similarly, the IGP reiterates the ban on all security aides to VIPs and escorts from accompanying their principals and politicians to polling booths and collation centres during the election.”

The IGP also prohibited state-run and privately owned security forces from participating in election security management. State-owned security forces include, among others, the Benue State Community Volunteer Guards, the Amotekun Corps, and Ebubeagu.

The IGP asked all citizens to abide by the law during and after the elections while assuring Nigerians that all essential security measures have been taken to guarantee that they are able to exercise their right to vote without interference.

During the presidential and National Assembly elections on February 25, there was significant violence, particularly in states such as Lagos, Kano, Rivers, and Bayelsa, among others. Vote theft, voter intimidation, and voter harassment were the rule of the day.

The battlegrounds have shifted to the states, as Nigerians will go to the polls again on Saturday, March 18, 2023, to elect a new set of governors and state assembly members, following the conduct of the presidential and legislative elections and the ensuing legal battles following the results announced by Nigeria’s electoral body.

Notably, 18 political parties fielded candidates for elections scheduled to take place in 28 of the Federation’s 36 states. The governorship elections of eight states (Anambra, Bayelsa, Edo, Ekiti, Imo, Kogi, Osun, and Ondo) are held during the off-season as a result of litigations and court rulings that disrupted the regularity of governorship elections in the country.

Nonetheless, state legislative elections will take place in all 36 states of the Federation. Already, thousands of people are vying for 993 seats in state legislatures. This information is based on INEC statistics.

The 28 states whose governorship elections will be held on March 18, 2023, in alphabetical order, are Abia, Adamawa, Akwa Ibom, Bauchi, Benue, Borno, Cross River, Delta, Ebonyi, Enugu, Gombe, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, Kwara, Lagos, Nasarawa, Niger, Ogun, Oyo, Plateau, Rivers Sokoto, Taraba, Yobe, and Zamfara.

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