Ahead of next Saturday’s governorship election in Anambra State, the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, deployed a Deputy Inspector General of Police in charge of Operation to handle security arrangement before and during the exercise.
The DIG (Operation) is to be assisted by an Assistant Inspector General of Police in the zone and three state commissioners of police, who will each coordinate security arrangement in each of the senatorial districts in the state.
Idris, who directed that a robust and elaborate security arrangement be implemented in the state to ensure a very secured environment for the conduct of a peaceful, credible and free and fair election, said the officers are to coordinate the security operations and supervise the deployment of security personnel for the elections throughout the state.
The police boss, in a statement released Sunday evening by the Force Public Relations Officer, Jimoh Moshood, a Chief Superintendent of Police, CSP, also directed deployment of additional 26,000 police personnel to the state in order to ensure adequate security and safety of lives and properties before, during and after the elections.
The personnel,according to the statement comprise those from the Police Special Forces, Police Mobile Force, the Counter Terrorism Unit, CTU, Special Protection Unit, SPU, the Anti Bomb Squad, EOD, the Force Marine Police, Conventional Policemen, the Force Armament Unit, personnel from Force Criminal Intelligence and Investigation Department, FCIID, Mounted Troops, the attack and Sniffer Dogs Section, Police Gun Boats, Police Helicopters and Armoured Personnel Carriers, APC, to the State.
The deployed personnel, the statement disclosed, are already on the ground.
The statement equally said three police Aerial/Surveillance Helicopters, ten gun boats, 15 Armoured Personnel Carriers (APC) and 303 police patrol vehicles have been deployed for the operations to cover the entire dtate including the riverine areas and difficult terrains.
“Other security and safety agencies who are members of Inter Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security (ICCES) in the state are also deployed to complement the personnel of the Nigeria Police Force during the election.
“Four Policemen are deployed to each polling unit along with personnel of other security and safety agencies.
“No armed security personnel will be allowed within the polling units. Armed police detachments on patrol vehicles are going to patrol the streets and other locations throughout the state to prevent crime and intervene to quell any violence that may occur during the election, “the statement also said.
The statement further read:” As part of additional measures aimed at guaranteeing a secure, peaceful and credible election, the Inspector General of Police, IGP Ibrahim Idris and the INEC Chairman will attend a stakeholder/peace, acccord meeting with all the political parties, their flag bearers contesting in the election, INEC officials, election observers, other stakeholders and members of the public before the date of the election in Awka, Anambra State.
“However, police personnel deployed for the election are under strict instructions to be polite and civil but firm in the discharge of their duties and other responsibilities.
“They are to provide adequate security for the electorates, INEC officials, election materials, election observers and other individuals and bodies that have statutory roles in the conduct of the election, at the polling booths, collation centres and INEC offices in Anambra state throughout the period of the election.
“Restriction of vehicular movement in and out of Anambra State. There will be a complete enforcement of restriction of vehicular movements in and out of Anambra State through the land and riverine borders with other neighbouring states and within the state from 12 midnight on Friday 17th November, 2017 till after the voting period on the day of the election on 18th November, 2017.
“However, government agencies and personnel on essential duties and services will be allowed passage within the period. Security identification tag will be provided for all the security and safety agencies, INEC officials, election observers/monitors and others that have statutory duties to carry out in the election.
“The security personnel deployed will only operate within the area they are posted for the election.
“The Commissioners of Police and personnel in the States contiguous to Anambra State have been put on Red-Alert by the Inspector General of Police not to allow influx of Miscreants, Thugs and People with questionable characters into Anambra State to disrupt the election.
“A broad base security threats assessment has been carried out in Anambra State by the Nigeria Police Force and it’s still ongoing. All the identified flash points, trouble spots and other perceived violence/vulnerable areas in the state have been profiled and appropriate pragmatic strategies and tactics have been implemented to checkmate and tackle them ahead of the Election.
“Consequent on the renewed threat by the outlawed Independent People of Biafra (IPOB) and other affiliate groups to disrupt the election, the Force has deployed Special Police Forces, Police Mobile Force, Specially Trained Counter Terrorism Unit and other Intelligent and Tactical Squads to deal decisively with “IPOB”, a group already declared a “terrorist Organisation” by court of competent jurisdiction in accordance with the law.
“The good people of Anambra State are implored to go out and vote on the day of the election and disregard the “Vote and Die” threat campaign or the call for boycott of the election by Independent People of Biafra (IPOB) as enough security measures are in place to protect them and every available resource of the Force are being deployed to make sure that IPOB don’t actualize the threats.
“Furthermore, IPOB and its leadership are warned in their own interest to steer clear of Anambra State, the Nigeria Police Force will not hesitate to use all legal means within the ambit of the law to checkmate and prevent the group “IPOB” from interfering in the conduct of the election.
“Political Parties, their Leaderships and flag bearers contesting in the election, Traditional Rulers, Community Leaders, Parents and Guardians in Anambra State are advised to warn and prevail on their Members, Supporters, Subjects, Children and Wards to be law abiding and not allow themselves to be used to cause disturbance of the peace or disruption of the election anywhere in the State. The full weight of the law will be applied on any person or group of persons found violating the electoral act or indulging in any criminal conduct capable of causing violence during the election.
“Public Office Holders, Politicians, Traditional Rulers and other VIPs will not be allowed to go to the polling unit with their security details, Orderlies and escorts. Security details, Orderlies and Escorts in their own interest are hereby warned to desist from escorting their Principals to polling booths during the election. Any deviant security Orderly, Detail or Escort will be apprehended and dealt with accordingly.
“The Inspector General of Police therefore wishes to assure the Electorates, Contestants, Political parties, other Stakeholders and all law abiding citizens in Anambra State of adequate security throughout the election and beyond. He enjoins them to cooperate with the Police Personnel and personnel of other security agencies in the discharge of their duties during the election and beyond.”