Tough hurdles await election observers and security operatives who have been assigned to monitor the general elections beginning Saturday, so say the Chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission, (INEC), Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, and the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu.
Both men spoke in Abuja Tuesday at the National briefing for Accredited Observers (Domestic and Foreign) for 2019 general elections.
While Yakubu hinted that election observers would not be permitted to grant media interviews, the Police warned that operatives without tags would not be allowed into election venues.
“We shall identify you with your tags. If you wear your tag, you are free to move about; but without your tag, don’t come out to say you are observing. We will observe you,’’ Adamu warned.
“Security personnel must wear their election identification tags with legible name tags on their uniforms for easy identification.
“Personnel deployed to polling unites will not carry firearm but only handcuffs.
“Security personnel deployed to polling units must look for vote buyers and sellers.
“We will be watching political thugs and we shall make arrest,’’ Adamu warned.
“Any voter, party official, or member who wears an attire with party logo; or anyone shouting party slogan or moving with his political party vehicle or with party inscriptions shall be arrested and handed over for investigation,’’ he added.
Prof. Mahmood, on his part, also warned that, at the polling units, no security personnel would be allowed to hinder accredited observers from observing the election process.