By Ejike Ejike, Abuja –
Ahead of the Anambra State Gubernatorial Election scheduled to hold on November 18, 2017, the Inspector General of Police, IGP Ibrahim Idris has directed the deployment 26,000 Police Personnel, the Deputy Inspector General of Police in charge of Operations, an Assistant Inspector General of Police and three Commissioners of Police to be in charge of each Senatorial District, to coordinate the security Operations and supervise the deployment of Security Personnel for the elections throughout the State.
The Force also deployed three Police Aerial/Surveillance Helicopters, 10 Gun Boats, 15 Armoured Personnel Carriers (APC) and 303 Police patrol vehicles for the operations to cover the entire State including the riverine areas and difficult terrains.
Also, 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 will be carried out except for government agencies and personnel on essential duties and services.
The Force PRO, CSP Jimoh Moshood, in a statement, also noted that 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.
According to him, ”in order to ensure adequate security and safety of lives and properties before, during and after the elections, the Inspector General of Police has graciously approved deployment of additional 26,000 Police Personnel, comprising 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 Anambra State and most of these personnel are already on the ground.”
“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.
“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 cenntres and INEC Offices in Anambra State throughout the period of the election.”
He also noted that “as part of additional measures aimed at guaranteeing a secure, peaceful and credible election, the Inspector General of Police, IGP Ibrahim K. Idris and the INEC Chairman will attend a Stakeholder/Peace Accord 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.
The FPRO also noted that 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 the situation.