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NSCDC warn officers against careless handling of firearms during elections



The Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) in Rivers says severe sanctions awaits any officer who mishandles firearms resulting in mishap during the forthcoming general elections.

A statement issued to journalists on Thursday by the command’s spokesman, DSC Olufemi Ayodele quoted the Commandant in Rivers, Michael Ogar, as giving the warning when he addressed senior officers at a seminar in Port Harcourt.

The one-day seminar jointly organised with The Community Initiative for Enhanced Peace and Development (CEIPD), A Civil Society Organisation (CSO) had the theme: “Election Violence Prevention in Rivers State.”

Ogar said that the corps would arrest and prosecute any officer involved in acts capable of denigrating the image and integrity of the corps.

“So, officers and men must adhere strictly with election duty operational rules; the corps’ Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) and provisions of the Electoral Act 2022.

“We cannot afford to fail in our mandate of securing critical national assets and protecting the lives and properties of citizens before, during and after the general elections.

“Our conduct relating with civilians must be in strict adherence to our SOP. So, there won’t be room for accidental discharge because our rifles were bought with taxpayer’s money,” he said.

Ogar said that NSCDC personnel must remain professional while carrying out their duty even in the face of provocation.

“Also, severe sanctions await any personnel who infringe on the fundamental human rights of citizens or who indulge in acts of brutality against Nigerians.

“Whoever is caught will be dismissed and handed over for prosecution in the courts.

“Nigerians are expected to exercise their franchise without disregard for the Electoral Act while our personnel on duty must also not take any action that could trigger violence,” he warned.

Also, Mrs Egondu Esinwoke-Ogbalor, Executive Director, CIEPD, said the show of force and intelligence sharing were among factors that could be used to prevent violence during elections.

She said the seminar was organised to improve both knowledge and performance of NSCDC personnel while discharging their duties to the nation.

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Desmond Ejibas

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