The Rivers state police command says it will leave no stone unturned in ensuring maximum security during the governorship election on Saturday.
In a statement on Friday, Usman Belel, the state commissioner of police, said the force had deployed 15,544 of its troops to various parts of the state as part of its effort to curb violence and ensure the safety of the electorate.
He said this number will be complemented by deployment from sister security agencies to cover the 23 local government areas, 319 wards, 4,442 polling units and 2,424 voting points in the state.
According to the statement, there will also be an 18-hour restriction of movement between 12 am on Saturday to 6 pm of the election day except for authorised persons and eligible voters.
Belel said the decisions were taken after a meeting by the Inter-Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security (ICCES).
“Recall that in the build up to the Governorship and House of Assembly Elections, there were meetings and Interfaces by the Security Agencies headed by my humble self, where far reaching decisions and steps were taken to ensure that our traditional role of protecting the Electoral process was carried out unhindered,” he said.
“Today, I have called you to brief you on the Security arrangements put in place to ensure that the Governorship and House of Assembly Elections are conducted in an atmosphere of peace, devoid of rancour.
“As part of the Security arrangements for the Elections, the Command is deploying 15.544 personnel to be complemented by the deployments from other sister Agencies to cover and protect the 23 LGAs, 319 Wards, 4.442 Polling Units and 2.424 voting points in the State, to ensure full Security coverage of the process with 3 Security Personnel each posted to a polling Unit. There will also be an outer perimeter deployment of armed men to guide against infiltration and hijack of the process by hoodlums or persons that wont to ferment trouble.”
He announced security operatives would be fully on ground in INEC offices across the state.
“Apart from the deployments made to cover and protect the Voting Areas, there will be in place a joint Convoy Patrols of the Security Agencies to cover the entire State, with special attention to INEC offices across the State,” he said.
“For the purposes of the Elections , all Entry and Exit Points (in and out ) of the State will be blocked by Security Personnel, to guide against infiltration into the State by Miscreants or Persons not authorized to be in the State at that material time.
“In order to regulate and curtail the activities of mischief makers and provide a conducive environment for people to exercise their franchise unhindered , the Inter-Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security ( ICCES ) after her meeting yesterday, agreed to place the following Restriction Orders.”
“That there will be total restriction of movement of persons, vehicles, boats, vessels or any mechanically propelled engine both on land and waterways, between the hours of 12 midnight on Friday 8/3/2019 to 6pm on Saturday 9/3/2019 except those on essential duties or duly authorized by law and eligible voters.”