In view of the Anambra Eelections, the Inspector General of Police, IGP Baba Usman Alkali and the new Commissioner of Police in Anambra State, CP Echeng Echeng, have enforced security measures to tighten security in and around Anambra State ahead of the governorship election that will take place. The measures put in place are to combat the activities of hoodlums and other criminal elements who may want to interfere with the election or the peace in the state.
IGP Alkali ordered a restriction of vehicular movement in Anambra which will take effect from the midnight of today being Friday November 5, 2021. He explained that the essence of this restriction is to protect the sanctity of the election. It is also to prevent the influx of criminal elements and other things that can affect the security situation and sabotage the election. He then appealed to drivers and other road users to use alternative routes.
The IGP disclosed that the only people allowed to ply are INEC staff, security personnel and other people playing key roles during the election. However, for them to be permitted, they need to conspicuously display their tags and identify themselves where necessary to avoid security agents from arresting them.
CP Echeng also ordered his men to inbound all improperly identified vehicles in the state when the restriction takes effect. In a statement, Echeng made it known that the only vehicles that will not be impounded are the ones with proper identification tags. In that case, it means that the occupants have been accredited as key people playing vital roles in the election.
Echeng warned others who have no roles in the election to stay away. He advised other vehicle owners not accredited to avoid plying the restricted areas to avoid their cars from being impounded.
Over the years, it has been discovered that free vehicular movements in and around the state where election is taking place aids rigging. You may want to know how. Well, Snatchers of ballot boxes in the past came in fast moving vehicles. They are usually heavily armed. Once they storm the election area, they would shoot sporadically into the air to scare people. Then, they would snatch the ballot boxes and drive away quickly making it hard to trace them.
Again, political thugs and other criminal elements move in vehicles. Some of them were hired by politicians to disrupt elections in the strongholds of popular political opponents. With free vehicular movement in place, they can go to the targeted locations when voting is underway and disrupt the process. This is aimed at giving their sponsors political advantage.
Finally, thugs and political hitmen also operate on that day. If there is free flow of vehicles, they can target and attack political opponents. They can attack voters in targeted locations so that other voters will be scared of coming to vote for their desired candidate. All these would weaken the security situation and affect the credibility of the election. That is why the IGP and CP are right to impose the measures.