The Inspector General of Police, Acting IGP Ibrahim Idris, has approved the deployment of additional 25,000 police personnel for the governorship election in Edo State this weekend.
The deployment comprise of the Police Mobile Force (PMF), the Counter Terrorism Units (CTU), the Anti bomb Squad (EOD), the Marine Police, Conventional policemen, the Armament Units, Personnel from Force Criminal Intelligence and Investigation Department [FCIID], Force Intelligence Bureau [FIB] and the Sniffer Dog Section.
He has equally approved that Police Aerial Surveillance Helicopters and Gun Boats, 10 additional Armoured Personnel Carriers and 550 patrol vehicles be deployed to cover all the polling units, rack centres, collating centres, Riverine areas and difficult terrains.
The IGP has already deployed a Deputy Inspector General of Police, assisted by an Assistant Inspector General of Police and three commissioners of Police to coordinate the security operations, supervise the deployment of security personnel and facilitate the electoral process throughout the state.
A statement from Force Headquarters which confirmed this noted that the steps were taken in order to ensure safety of life and property before, during and after the election.
The statement noted that as part of additional measures aimed at guaranteeing a credible election which outcome will be generally acceptable, the IGP will convene a peace accord meeting of all the political parties, candidates, INEC officials, election observers and other stakeholders before the date of the election in Benin City, Edo State to deliberate on the overall desirability of peace during the election and adherence to the rules of the game.
It noted that all police personnel and other complementing sister security agencies were under strict instructions to be professionally polite and civil but firm in the discharge of their statutory duties.
“They are to provide adequate security for the electorates, INEC officials, electoral materials, election observers and all stakeholders throughout the period of the election,” the statement noted.
The statement further noted that, “political parties and their leaders, traditional rulers, community leaders, parents and guardians 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 as canon folders to cause disturbance of the peace or disruption of the electoral process.
“The spirit and letters of the law will be fully applied on any person or group of persons found violating the Electoral Act.
“The Inspector General of Police therefore wishes to assure the Edo electorates and all law abiding citizens of adequate security throughout the elections. He enjoins them to cooperate with Police in the discharge of their duties as the security personnel will operate within the framework of Democratic Policing.”