- To protect themselves for harm, Nigerian politicians have started making orders for bulletproof vehicles ahead of the 2023 polls
- Dealers and suppliers have confirmed the surge in demands by the politicians as they prepare for the elections
- The use of armoured vehicles across Nigeria is regulated by the Office of the National Security Adviser
FCT, Abuja - A report by Punch newspaper indicates that as preparations for the 2023 general elections gain momentum, the demands for bullet-proof Sports Utility Vehicles have increased significantly across the country.
According to the report, Very Important Personalities, top chieftains and candidates of political parties have been procuring customised vehicles that offer special protection in the run-up to the campaigns and elections.
Apart from ordering armoured vehicles, it was also learnt that politicians were applying for special police protection and procuring other security wares.
The use of armoured vehicles is regulated by the Office of the National Security Adviser but approval or end-user certificate is granted to private individuals who have evidence of a threat to their lives.
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Supplier speak on increase in demands
Confirming the increase in orders for armoured vehicles, the president, Armor Max, Mr Mark Burton said his company had been getting orders from clients, noting that sales have been very good in March.
Burton, who said his firm had been importing bullet-proof vehicles into Nigeria for the past 20 years, explained that the high demand was inspired by the political season.
“We are a United States-based company, we have been based in Nigeria for six years now. We have been armouring cars and sending them to Nigeria for 20 years.
“Obviously, with the political season and the unrest, there is obviously a high demand. We have been working with government officials, diplomats, senators, and businesses.
“It depends on the needs. Sometimes, it is for political purposes, other times, it is for church groups that just need transport for their pastors to and from church and their home.’’
Dealers confirm surge in special purpose vehicles
A car dealer, simply identified as Mr Frank, who also markets special protection vehicles, said the business had become profitable lately.
“Politicians are getting bullet-proof cars, they are buying gradually. But when they come for transactions, we don’t ask if they are politicians. We give them what they want. I don’t import bullet-proof vehicles, I market for others.’’
The Proprietor of Megalio Motors, Mike Omere, said he recently sold an armoured SUV to a politician who wanted to travel to the south-south region.
“A politician just bought (a vehicle) so he can travel to the South-South. The cheapest you can buy is an old Landcruiser for N18m. The 2022 model bullet-proof Landcruiser goes for N198m while the G-Wagon of the same year costs over N380m.’’
Civil Defence to deploy 30,000 operatives for 2023 elections
In a related development, the News Agency of Nigeria reports that the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) is to deploy 30,000 operatives to ensure peace during next year’s general elections in Nigeria.
The Commandant-General of the NSCDC, Ahmed Audi, said the operatives would be deployed nationwide to maintain peace.
According to him, the NSCDC has perfected plans to deploy all resources needed to provide security during the election.
7 people killed as gunmen attack top southeast lawmaker's convoy
Recall that seven people died in an attack on the convoy of Senator Ifeanyi Ubah, the lawmaker representing Anambra south senatorial district recently.
Ubah's convoy was attacked by some gunmen on Sunday, September 11, in Enugwu Ukwu area of the southeast state.
According to sources, the lawmaker escaped with some injuries during the attack which occurred at about 8.15 pm.
Bullet-proof vehicle saved Senator Ubah during deadly attack
Meanwhile, a media aide to the lawmaker revealed how the senator survived the attack.
Kameh Ogbonna, in a statement said Ubah was able to escape the deadly attack on his convoy because he was riding in a bulletproof vehicle.
According to Ogbonna, if not for the vehicle, the Anambra lawmaker would have been dead by now.