No fewer than 26,000 police officers have been deployed to Anambra to provide security cover for Saturday’s governorship election in the state.
This was announced in a statement on Tuesday by Mohammed Baba-Busu, a media aide to the Inspector General of Police (I-G), Ibrahim Idris, in Awka.
The statement said the I-G gave the figure at a stakeholders’ meeting organised by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, in Awka.
It added that Mr. Idris authorised an additional 21,000 police officers to join another 5,000 personnel already stationed in the state.
According to the statement, the deployment is to ensure the conduct of a hitch-free election and guarantee security of lives and property before, during and after the elections.
The number one cop also announced that three commissioners of police and Assistant Inspectors-General (AIGs) had been deployed to the state ahead of the polls.
It also said that three helicopters and some gunboats had been deployed for both air and water surveillance to ensure peaceful and orderly conduct.
It said the Deputy Inspector-General of Police (DIG Operations) would directly oversee security operations in the state as the Field Commander.
In addition, all Divisional Police Officers, Area Commanders were swapped to avoid familiarity with political actors and maintain neutrality during the election.
It explained that the three CP’s would oversee each of the operational zones in the state, to ensure tight security both during and after the elections.
It assured that the police would ensure the security of lives and property during the polls.
Also speaking, the Chairman of INEC, Mahmoud Yakubu, said the purpose of the meeting was to sensitise the electorate to the need for violence- free polls.
He pledged the commissions’ resolve for free, credible and transparent electoral process.
“We will be unbiased in the conduct of this election; we will ensure its conduct is transparent, credible and free,” Mr. Yakubu pledged.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that all political parties in the state, including their flag-bearers for the election, attended the meeting.