Inspector General of Police (IGP), Ibrahim Idris, has directed that robust and elaborate security arrangements be implemented in Ondo State to ensure peaceful, credible, free and fair governorship elections on November 26.
To that effect, a Deputy Inspector General of Police has been deployed to the state and will be assisted by an Assistant Inspector General of Police and three Commissioners of Police for each senatorial district to coordinate security operations and supervise deployment of security personnel for the election.
Also to ensure adequate security and safety of life and property before, during and after the elections, the IGP has approved deployment of additional 26,000 conventional Police personnel (five Policemen per polling unit), 2,000 Mobile Police Force (PMF), 10 cells of Counter Terrorism Unit, Special Protection Unit, Anti Bomb Squad (EOD), Marine Police, Conventional Policemen, Armament Units, personnel from FCIID and FIIB and Sniffer dogs section and Mounted Troops.
Others include 20 Police Gunboats, three Patrol Surveillance Helicopters, 12 additional Armoured Personnel Carriers and 300 Police patrol vehicles.
Other security and safety agencies who are members of Inter Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security (ICCES) in the state have also been deployed to complement the Police during the elections.
A statement from force headquarters noted that Police personnel deployed for the election are under strict instructions to be polite and civil but firm in the discharge of their duties.
It said that they are to provide adequate security for the electorates, INEC staff, election materials, election observers and other individuals and bodies that have statutory roles in the conduct of the elections at the polling booths, collation centres and INEC offices throughout the period of the election.
It said, “All 28 participating political parties and their leaderships, 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 to cause disturbance or disruption of the elections /electoral process 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.
“The Inspector General of Police therefore assures the electorates, the contestants and all law abiding citizens in Ondo State of adequate security throughout the election. He enjoins them to cooperate with the Police personnel in the discharge of their duties.
“Security details are warned to desist from escorting their principals and politicians to polling booths and collation centres during the election. Any deviant security detail will be apprehended and dealt with accordingly.”