The Inspector General of Police (IGP), Ibrahim Idris, has ordered the deployment of an additional 26,000 officers for Saturday’s governorship election, even as he warned members of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) to keep away.
IGP deploys additional 26,000 officers, warns IPOB to steer clear.
“The Nigeria Police Force will not hesitate to use all legal means within the ambit of the law to checkmate and prevent the group, IPOB, from interfering in the conduct of the election,” he warned.
A statement signed by Force Public Relations Officer (FPRO), Jimoh Moshood, in Abuja yesterday said the additional 26,000 officers were made up of special forces, mobile force, counter terrorism unit, special protection unit, the anti bomb squad, marine police, conventional policemen, armament unit, and personnel from Force Criminal Intelligence and Investigation Department (FCIID).
He said three helicopters, 10 gun boats, 15 armoured personnel carriers and 303 patrol vehicles had been deployed for operations in the entire state including riverine areas and difficult terrains.
Moshood added that the Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG) in charge of Department of Operations had been deployed to the state. He added that the DIG would be assisted by an Assistant Inspector General and three Commissioners in charge of each senatorial district, and would coordinate operations and supervise the deployment of personnel throughout the state.
The statement reads: “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.
“The Commissioners of Police and personnel in the states contiguous to Anambra have been put on red alert by the IGP not to allow influx of miscreants, thugs and people with questionable characters into Anambra to disrupt the election.
“A broad-based security threats assessment has been carried out in Anambra State by the Nigeria Police Force and it’s still ongoing. All the identified flash points, trouble spots and other perceived violence/vulnerable areas in the state have been profiled and appropriate pragmatic strategies and tactics have been implemented to checkmate and tackle them ahead of the election.
“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 IPOB, a group already declared a terrorist organisation by a court of competent jurisdiction in accordance with the law.
“Other security and safety agencies who are members of the 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.”
The police boss advised the people of Anambra to go out and vote on the day of the exercise and disregard the ‘vote and die’ threat or call for boycott of the election by IPOB, as security measures had been put in place to protect them and prevent the group from actualising its mission.
“The Inspector General of Police therefore wishes to assure the electorate, contestants, political parties, other stakeholders and all law abiding citizens in Anambra State of adequate security throughout the election and beyond.”