The Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, has said the security agency would deploy over 30,000 officers for the November 16 governorship election in Bayelsa State.
Mr Adamu said this on Wednesday at a stakeholders’ meeting in Yenagoa organised by the independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and attended by political and community leaders.
“We are deploying not less than over 30,000 policemen and will include other security agents for this election,” he said.
Mr Adamu was represented at the meeting by the Deputy Inspector General of Police (Operations), Abdulmajid Ali. He assured the stakeholders and INEC that the police would not give any political party or candidate a preferential treatment.
“We will provide a level-playing ground for everybody and we will ensure that the election will be free and fair. This time around, we will get it right in Bayelsa,” the police boss said.
“During the last general elections, a lot of my policemen were abducted. A whole deputy commissioner of police was assaulted. This time around, I don’t think it will happen.
”Anyone the police find as a threat to the electoral process, it means the election would be done behind such person.”
Mr Adamu also said information reaching the police reveals there would be persons with fake police uniforms on election day to disrupt the process.
”I assure you there would be tough resistance,” he said.
“We are aware that some of you are planning to wear police and army uniforms. I want to tell you that any group that tries to dare us this time will be dealt with tough resistance. But I don’t pray for that.”
He also said phone numbers would be available for members of the public to report emergencies on the day of the election.
“Most of the leaders are closely being watched; some of the party officials, we are closely monitoring you. If we find that you are a threat to the election, then the election will be done behind you. But we don’t want that.”
INEC had earlier announced plans for the upcoming Bayelsa and Kogi governorship elections.
The elections will hold simultaneously in the two states on November 16.
The police boss assured the people of Bayelsa that the security agencies would at alert and live up to expectations. “We will get it right this time in this state,” he stressed.
Campaigns and Vote-Buying
Mr Adamu also urged the politicians to campaign based on issues and not hatred and fake news for their selfish political interest.
The head of the National Orientation Agency (NOA) in the state, Ide Oduasekper, urged voters to avoid vote buying and violence during the election.
In his remarks, the head of the Bayelsa chapter of the Inter-party Advisory Council (IPAC), Eneyi Zidougha, appealed to the security agencies to protect lives and properties during the poll.