* Warns IPOB members to steer off Anambra
In a bid to prevent a breach of peace during and after the Anambra State governorship poll on Saturday, the Inspector General of Police (IGP) Mr Ibrahim Idris, on Sunday, disclosed that about 26,000 police officers would be deployed in the state for the election.
The Force Public Relations Officer, Jimoh Moshood, stated this in a statement made available in Abuja.
The IGP also outlined the detailed security arrangement for the period of the election, saying that the personnel dispatched to Anambra State for the governorship poll would display a high level of professionalism in their conduct and would ensure that polling units are adequately protected.
He said, “Purely for this election, we are deploying an additional 26,000 police officers. These officers are going to enforce security at the polling units; each polling unit will have a minimum of five policemen in addition to other sister security agencies.”
He said that the Deputy Inspector General of Police in charge of Department of Operations of the Force has been deployed to the state and will be assisted by an Assistant Inspector General of Police and 3 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 statement also revealed that the officers would come from the Police Mobile Force, the Counter-Terrorism Unit, the Anti-Bomb Squad, the Marine Police, and the Sniffer Dog Section, in addition to conventional NPF officers.
Idris also said that three aerial surveillance helicopters, 20 gunboats, 12 armored personnel carriers (APCs), and 300 patrol vehicles would be deployed for the Saturday governorship election.
He added that the surveillance helicopters would be deployed to each of the three senatorial district of the State for effective policing.
The police boss maintained that the police would use dogs and horses for the protection of the State Headquarters of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
He said that the force, in collaboration with other sister security agencies, would be decisive on the restriction of movement of electorates on the day of the election.
The IGP further implored the good people of Anambra State disregard the “Vote and Die” threat campaign by the prescribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) by going out enmass to vote.
According to him, enough security measures are in place to protect them and that every available resource of the Force are being deployed to make sure that IPOB don’t actualize the threats.
The statement further warned IPOB and its leadership to steer clear of Anambra State, adding that the police will not hesitate to use all legal means within the ambit of the law to checkmate and prevent IPOB from interfering with the conduct of the election.
The police boss also advised political parties, their leadership and flag bearers contesting in the election to warn and prevail on their members, supporters, children and wards to be law abiding and not allow themselves to be used to cause disturbance of the peace or disruption of the election 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, Idris added.
Francesca Iwambe- Abuja