Anambra Polls: We need additional 17,580 policemen – Deputy Commissioner

Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris
Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris

The police command in Anambra on Friday said it required additional 17,580 police officers to ensure peaceful elections in the state.

The Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) in the state, Mike Okoli, made this known in Abuja at a Civil Society Programme — ‘The Situation Room”, organised by PLAC, a Non-Governmental Organisation.

Situation Room is a forum where civil society organisations engage government representatives on issues affecting the people.

The deputy commissioner put the total number of police needed for the polls at 21,084, while the total strength of the command was 4,714.

He said the command had identified 414 major streets in the state to be patrolled by six policemen each.

The deputy commissioner said each of the 5,339 voting points in the state would be manned by four unarmed police officers.

Mr. Okoli added that the command would require 30 Explosive Ordance Disposal (EOD) and Bomb Detection Officers, 300 patrol vehicles, three helicopters, five gunboats for marine policing and six Armoured Personnel Carriers.

He said apart from the crime prevention and control strategies adopted by the command, 30 Police Mobile Force (PMF) units were also required.

He added that 23 PMF units had been deployed by Inspector General of Police and 12 units were already on ground ahead of the state’s November 18 governorship election.

He said the utilisation of the units ensured the relocation of criminal elements from the state.

Mr. Okoli said the deployment had also won the confidence of residents in the ability of police to ensure security before, during and after the elections.

He said the recent proscription of the activities of Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and the Operations Python Dance II in the state had also ensured calm ahead of the elections.

The deputy commissioner identified 11 flash points in the state and said adequate personnel had been allocated to those points to ensure order.

He noted that the command would enforce movement restriction and politicians would not be allowed to move around with armed men, stressing that “the command would not tolerate activities of thugs or vigilance groups during the period.”

He, however, said policemen scheduled to work during the election had been trained to respect rule of law and human rights.

The INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner in Anambra, Nkwachukwu Orji, said there were indications that the election would be successful.

He said the signals included the peaceful primaries conducted by political parties and the role so far played by security agencies.

Mr. Orji said the commission was determined to improve voter experience by ensuring their votes count and make the entire process comfortable.

According to him, the commission has committed resources toward the conduct of the election, saying the election will be the most expensive in the state.

Mr. Orji said there were 226 wards in the state with 4,608 polling units and a total number of 5,339 voting points.

He added that the total number of registered voters increased from 1.9 million in 2015 to 2.2 million in 2017.

The INEC commissioner said over 95 per cent of non-sensitive materials had already been delivered to the state and distributed to Electoral Officers.

He said the commission had recruited 23,000 ad hoc staff, which included 11,000 corps members in the state and neighbouring states.


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