In preparation for the upcoming governorship and state assembly elections on March 18, the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Usman Baba, has issued a directive to restrict all forms of vehicular movement on roads, waterways, and other forms of transportation from 12 am to 6 pm on election day. This measure is aimed at ensuring the safety and security of all citizens during the election.
However, essential service providers such as officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), electoral observers, accredited media and observers, as well as emergency responders, are exempted from this directive. The Federal Capital Territory is also excluded from this restriction as no election is being conducted therein.
The IGP has reiterated 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. Additionally, state-established security outfits and privately-owned outfits are barred from participating in election security management. State-owned security outfits include the Benue State Community Volunteer Guards, the Amotekun Corps, Ebubeagu, amongst others.
The IGP has urged all citizens to be law-abiding during and after the elections. He has assured Nigerians that all necessary security arrangements have been put in place to ensure they exercise their franchise unhindered.
The February 25 presidential and National Assembly elections were marred by significant violence, especially in states like Lagos, Kano, Rivers, Bayelsa, amongst others. Ballot box snatching, voter harassment, and intimidation were rampant. With the conduct of the presidential and legislative polls and the attendant legal tussles trailing the outcome of the results announced by Nigeria’s electoral body, the battlegrounds have shifted to states as Nigerians will head to the polls again on Saturday, March 18, 2023, to elect a new set of governors and state assembly members.
In summary, the IGP’s directive is aimed at ensuring a peaceful and secure election process. Citizens are urged to comply
Eighteen political parties have fielded candidates for the upcoming elections in 28 out of the 36 states of the Federation. However, the governorship elections of eight states, namely Anambra, Bayelsa, Edo, Ekiti, Imo, Kogi, Osun, and Ondo, are being held off-season due to litigations and court judgments that have disrupted the regularity of governorship elections in the country.
Despite this setback, elections for members of state legislature will still hold in all 36 states of the Federation. According to statistics by INEC, thousands of candidates are competing for 993 State Houses of Assembly seats.
For those interested in the specifics, the 28 states where governorship elections will hold on March 18, 2023, 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.
It is crucial to note that these elections will have a significant impact on the political landscape of Nigeria. As such, it is essential for citizens to exercise their right to vote and choose leaders who will prioritize the needs of the people and work towards the betterment of the country.