The Inspector-General of Police, Usman Alkali Baba, has deployed two deputy inspectors-general of police (DIG) and five assistant inspectors-general of police (AIG) to Anambra to help ensure adequate security for the November 6 governorship election in the South-east state.
The deployment is apparently a response to the general apprehension that the election may be disrupted by the pro-Biafra group, IPOB.
The spokesperson of the force headquarters, Abuja, Frank Mba, who announced the deployment in a statement on Tuesday in Abuja, said 14 commissioners of police, 31 deputy commissioners of police, and 48 assistant commissioners of police have also been deployed to the state.
Mr Mba, in the statement, described the deployment as “a major overhauling of the security landscape in Anambra” ahead of the election.
He said Joseph Egbunike, a deputy inspector-general of police, is to co-ordinate the security component for the election. He would be assisted by the acting deputy inspector-general of police in-charge of operations, Zaki Ahmed.
“DIG Egbunike is saddled with the responsibility of overseeing the implementation of the Operation Order evolved from the Election Security Threat Assessment, to ensure a peaceful environment devoid of violence and conducive enough to guarantee that law abiding citizens freely perform their civic responsibilities without molestation or intimidation,” Mr Mba said.
The police IG, Mr Baba, said the police are “adequately prepared” for the election, and that they would do everything within their powers to ensure a free and fair election in the state, the statement stated.
“The IGP calls on citizens in Anambra State to come out en masse and exercise their franchise as adequate security has been emplaced to protect them before, during and after the elections,” the statement added.
Babagana Monguno, the national security adviser (NSA) to President Muhammadu Buhari, on Monday cautioned IPOB against disrupting the election.
“I want to reassure the general public that the security agencies are going to do everything within their power to ensure that the people of Anambra State undergo this exercise without any incident.
“In the same vein, I want to offer a word of brotherly advice to our brothers and sisters in Anambra State who may want to use means, methods that are unorthodox and that are unusual to destabilise an already delicate situation, to please, think again,” Mr Monguno, a retired major-general, said at the Inter-Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security meeting organised by the Independent National Electoral Commission in Abuja.
The agitation for an independent republic, Biafra, which is being championed by IPOB, has led to killings and destruction in Nigeria’s South-east region.
The IPOB leader, Nnamdi Kanu, is facing trial for alleged treason. The group and its supporters are using a sit-at-home order to put pressure on the Nigerian government to release Mr Kanu from detention.