The Ebonyi Police Command will deploy 3,200 personnel to enforce law and order during the state’s Local Government Area (LGA) Council elections on Saturday, an officer has said.
DSP Jude Madu, the command’s Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), made the disclosure on Friday in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abakaliki.
Madu said that the personnel would ensure security in all parts of the state, adding that 3,000 personnel would be deployed from the state police command.
According to him, the zone’s six commands of the force, comprising of Ebonyi, Cross River, Rivers and Akwa-Ibom would send an additional 200 personnel.
In a related development, Mr Titus Lamorde, the state Commissioner of Police (CP), warned the personnel involved in the election to be transparent and discharge their duties within the confines of the law.
Lamorde gave the warning during an interactive session with heads of security agencies, political parties, civil society groups and other stakeholders in the state on the smooth conduct of the election.
“Any police officer who collects any form of gratification from political parties to work in their favour would be punished accordingly.”
“The electorates are therefore enjoined to co-operate with security agencies by conducting themselves appropriately to ensure that the election is hitch-free,” he said.
The commissioner urged voters to leave the voting areas immediately after voting or stay within a space of 300 metres from the voting area.
“Political parties should educate their members to observe all electoral regulations and shun acts that would jeopardise the electoral process.”
“The electorates are advised to seek redress against all perceived wrong doing at the appropriate law courts instead of resorting to violence and other forms of disturbances, during and after the elections.”
“Citizens of the state should also observe the restriction of movement order on Saturday which runs from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. and not engage in any activity that does not relate to the election within the period,” he said.
Mr Hans Offia, the Ebonyi State Independent Electoral Commission (EBSIEC) Commissioner in charge of Legal and Security Matters, said that only three political parties had been certified to participate in the election.
The parties include the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP), All Progressive Congress (APC) and the Social Democratic Party (SDP).
“Two other parties which I will not mention presently, are still battling to meet the requirements for the election but would still participate if they succeed,” he said.
Mrs Juliet Nwinyinya, Chairman of the Peoples Progressive Party (PPP), noted that most registered political parties in the state could not participate in the election because of the high cost of nomination forms.
“The forms sell for N500,000 for chairmanship candidates and N100,000 for councillorship position.”
Nwinyinwa said that the current economic realities in the country had made the forms out of the reach of most parties.