The Acting Inspector General of Police (IG), Mohammed Adamu, has banned the use of covered vehicle number plates by all unauthorised users across the country.
Force spokesman, Mr. Frank Mba, said in a statement yesterday that Adamu has also warned would-be troublemakers for Saturday’s governorship and state Houses of Assembly elections to have a rethink.
The ban placed on covered vehicle numbers followed intelligence report that covered number plates may be used to commit electoral offences.
IG also noted that covering of vehicle number plate amounts to clear breach of the Road Traffic Act and other relevant laws of the land.
He also warned that any security personnel found escorting their principal with an unmarked vehicle or those with masked vehicle number plates will be arrested and dealt with accordingly.
“Apart from the above immediate possible threats to the polls, the IG also noted that the covering of Vehicle Number Plate amounts to a clear breach of the Road Traffic Act and other relevant laws of the land.
“In addition, the act could also impact negatively on national security and safety and has the capacity to; heighten criminal activities, engender atmosphere of lawlessness, shield perpetrators of crime and place unnecessary pressure on security agencies in their routine crime prevention and monitoring tasks,” Mba explained.
The IG also directed all Assistant Inspectors General of Police (AIGs) and Commissioners of Police (CPs) in the Zonal and State Commands to strictly enforce the restriction order at their various Areas of Responsibilities (AOR) and to ensure that all defaulters are dealt with according to the law.
Also speaking to State House correspondents yesterday at the end of security chiefs’ meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, Adamu stated that security arrangement across the country has been enhanced to deal ruthlessly with thugs and troublemakers.
He also said that security personnel have been increased for trouble spots identified during the presidential and National Assembly elections.
He said, “We are all aware of the fact that we just concluded the presidential and National Assembly elections and we want to congratulate Nigerians for the peaceful conduct of the elections and we are prepared now for the governorship and the House of Assembly elections in the country.
“We’ll like every Nigerian to come out and cast his or her vote. The security arrangement we provided during the presidential elections is being enhanced so as to provide enabling environment for everybody to come out and cast his or her vote for their preferred candidates.
“We will again advise those that will want to disrupt the process to rethink because during the presidential election, we had some few challenges here and there, those challenges, we’ll not allow those challenges to repeat themselves. We are taking more security measures to address those pockets of challenges we noticed.
“So, thuggery again, is not allowed, ballot snatching is not allowed, disruption of the election process is not allowed. We, the security personnel have resolved to deal ruthlessly with anybody that attempts to disrupt the process of this election.
“For that reason, we expect, every states, the conduct of the election should be respected. We expect that electoral materials must not be tempered with; we expect that the INEC officials would do their work without fear or favour and without being allowed to compromise. The same thing, the security personnel are to perform their duties without allowing themselves to be compromised.
“So, we have heightened the security arrangement to make sure that the election goes without any hitch.” he stated