Ahead of the March 23 supplementary elections in some states of the federation, the Nigerian Army and the Nigeria Police Force have reconciled their differences and promised to work together.
This was disclosed at a joint media briefing by the Nigerian Army and Nigeria Police in Abuja on Thursday, on the just concluded elections and the forthcoming supplementary elections.
Frank Mba, the Force Public Relations Officers (FPRO), who briefed journalists on behalf of other services, said they were no more at loggerheads with each other, having resolved their differences.
He revealed that no fewer than 1,119 electoral offenders have been arrested so far by the military, police and sister security agencies during the 2019 general election.
The breakdown showed that 322 persons were arrested during the presidential and National Assembly elections, while 796 people were arrested during the governorship and house of assembly polls. He disclosed that top on the list of arrests were from Akwa Ibom State with 256, 117 persons from Imo, while 109 people were from Kaduna.
He, therefore, warned that the figures would increase by Saturday’s supplementary polls if the troublemakers choose not to stay away from disrupting the polls.
While commenting on the alleged militarisation of the electoral process, the FPRO said there was no doubt that the Nigeria Police is the lead security agency tasked with the provision of security at the polls, while the military is to support the Police and other security agencies by providing security at the outer cordons, including checkpoints and other flashpoints, when called upon as provided in Section 217 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, as amended.
“We are, however, equally aware of some of the unfortunate security challenges witnessed during the elections, which have generated public outcry and condemnation. The alleged involvement of some security agents in some of these unfortunate incidents is of serious concern to the military and police high commands,” he said.
Mba disclosed that while some of these issues may have been as a result of the overzealousness of some personnel, others were instances of impersonation by political thugs clad in military and police uniforms.
“This information was later corroborated with the arrest of several fake soldiers and fake policemen during the last elections,” he said, while some of the fake soldiers and policemen who had been arrested were displayed on the screen.
He appealed to the general public to volunteer useful information to aid security agencies in this regard.