The Centre for Democracy and Development has cautioned the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, against re-deployment of state Commissioners of Police few days to election.
Prof. Adele Jinadu, Chairman, Election Analysis Centre,CDD made the call while briefing newsmen on the Independent National Electoral Commission preparations for the rescheduled poll on Thursday in Abuja.
Jinadu said the call became imperative to prevent unnecessary tension among residents of the country.
He said: “Recent police redeployment has also been problematic; the redeployment was announced on February 9; less than two weeks after the previous nationwide redeployment.
“It is unfortunate to note that less than two weeks after the redeployment, the Commissioner of Police in Akwa Ibom, Bashir Makama was replaced by the Commissioner in charge of Sokoto state, Ibrahim Kaoje.
“In the same vein, the Deputy Commissioner of Police, Mr Balarabe Sule, previously deployed to Zamfara has been redeployed once again to Kano for the election.
“He replaced DCP Bukar Modu Biu, who served for only one week, Sule was formerly the Chief Security Officer to Governor Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano state.”
Jinadu said although INEC has made adequate preparations for the conduct of the rescheduled election, there are concerns on missing or misplaced materials.
He said: “In several instances, materials meant for a particular geopolitical zone are making their ways to different geopolitical zone. There are also mix-ups within geo-political zones.
“For example, some materials for the South West made their way to the South-South, North West or South West among others.
“INEC must ensure that before Saturday all the missing or misplaced materials are rerouted to avoid shortfalls or any hitches.”
Jinadu expressed worry over the welfare of INEC ad hoc staff and urged the commission to ensure that the training allowances of between N4,500 and N30,500 were paid promptly.
He said: “Besides ad hoc staff expressing dissatisfaction with working conditions, we are apprehensive about the quality of some of them whose performance might constitute a challenge to the election.
:We implore INEC to prioritise the retraining scheduled for Friday, Feb. 22 across the nation.”
Jinadu urged INEC to ensure that it provide sufficient security for ad hoc staff as most of them are unfamiliar with the areas they are posted to work and might be particularly susceptible to attacks and harassment.
Olajumoke Jacob-Haliso, member, Election Analysis Centre, CDD, said it is important to continue to challenge the enormous amount of hate and dangerous speech in circulation.
Jacob-Haliso said there is also a considerable amount of growing violence and killings of politicians across political parties.
She said thuggery is also a big problem in Kogi, particularly in Kogi Central and Kogi East.
She said political leaders have been fuelling tension adding that the level of insecurity in the country is also impacting on the deployment of officials of both observer groups and INEC.
Jacob-Haliso said based on CDD’s assessment and review, the group recommended that it is essential and necessary to review security plans for volatile states like Borno, Yobe, Adamawa and Zamfara.
She said while provision of security during election is necessary, it is equally important that the authorities responsible do not unduly deploy excessive security that might frighten voters and depress voting numbers.
She said INEC and stakeholders should engage in voter mobilisation to stave off apathy.
Earlier, CDD Executive Director, Idayat Hassan, said the group has set up an Election Analysis Centre to identify and counter fake news during the election.
Hassan said: “EAC will be a one-stop shop where a team of reputable analysts will provide accurate and real-time rigorous analysis of events in the build-up to the poll.
“The centre will also provide information on Election Days and during post-election period in a more captivating, enriching and systematic manner.”