The acting Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, has approved the deployment of additional 25,000 policemen for Saturday’s governorship election in Edo State.
The policemen are to be drawn from the Police Mobile Force (PMF), the Counter Terrorism Units (CTU), the Anti bomb Squad (EOD), the Marine Police, Conventional policemen, the Armament Units, including personnel from Force criminal Intelligence and Investigation Department (FCIID), Force Intelligence Bureau (FIB) and the Sniffer Dog Section.
The Force Public Relations Officer, Don Awunah, in a statement released on Tuesday, said the IGP also approved the deployment of the police aerial surveillance helicopters, gun boats, 10 additional Armoured Personnel Carriers and 550 patrol vehicles for the elections.
The statement said a deputy Inspector General of Police will be on ground to coordinate security operations during the election, and that he would be assisted by an Assistant Inspector General of Police and three commissioners of Police.
“As part of additional measures 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,” the statement said.
“This meeting will focus on the overall desirability of peace during the election and adherence to the rules of the game.
“All Police Personnel and other complementing Sister Security Agencies are 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.
“For the avoidance of doubt, 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.”