After co-ordinating the security of what he described as peaceful elections on Feb 23, Lagos CP Mu’azu Zubairu explains to the National Daily the improvement added to the March 9 election security. (Excerpt)
What are the high points of your evaluation of the Feb 23 presidential election security?
As far as Lagos is concerned, the last presidential and National Assembly elections were peaceful in the 13200 polling units across the state. We had distraction in just 10 out of these thousands. And we have taken note of those places. Our work is made a lot easier. We have the INEC’s Inter-agency Committee on Election Security working with us. Moreover, we have reviewed our performance, identified our strengths and weaknesses.
Some INEC officials and voters were harassed, and there was no equal force to deal with the attackers since the police at the polling units were unarmed.
We have reviewed our deployment. We are introducing patrols at safe distance to the polling units on Saturday. We will be using our specialized dogs, too. The main focus this time is synergy with other security agencies. But we are still not allowing armed officers at the polling units.
We had ethnic incidents at Okota and other places where voters were mainly Igbo.
There was nothing like that. Unfortunately, there was some incident at Okota. But the social media reports of the incidents were half-truths. That the OPC came to attack a particular tribe was not true. The episode at Okota had nothing to do with ethnicity. And we have taken some preventive measures about that. We have had series of stakeholders meeting. We had with tribal groups. We had with traders at Oshodi. We had with road transport workers union too. And they all gave us assurances there will be no problem on Saturday.
How many of the over 300 ballot snatchers arrested across the nation came from Lagos?
We arrested 20 suspects in Lagos. And we have handed them over to the special investigation unit. We are going to prosecute them.
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