The police is not resting on it oars to secure lives and properties during the forthcoming Anambra election especially in the face of threats by members of the Independent People of Biafra, IPOB.
The Inspector General of Police (IGP), Ibrahim Idris, has said a total of 21,084 policemen and three police helicopters will be deployed for the November 18 gubernatorial election in Anambra State.
Idris, who said this while speaking on Tuesday at the 2nd Situation Room Dialogue Session organized by the Policy and Legal Advocacy Centre (PLAC), stated that no group under any guise would be allowed to disrupt or cause violence before, during and after the election.
He said the police headquarters will provide additional 300 vehicles to add to the Anambra command’s 80 operational vehicles, adding that gunboats for the marine police to man the waterways at Onitsha, Aguleri and Nzam have been provided.
Idris said for the purpose of a successful election, the riverine areas would be manned by the marine police and Nigerian Navy while all exit/entry points, including border areas would be manned by the Police Mobile Force personnel and Nigerian Army.
He said the Anambra command has been directed to liaise with community leaders such as Ohaneze Ndigbo to prevail on the indigenes not to be used to disrupt the election or disturb public peace and law and order.
Meanwhile, the Executive Director of PLAC, Clement Nwankwo, has urged the police to be concerned about the level of deployment “because sometimes over-policing can also be a problem.”
Nwankwo said regardless of threats against the election, civil society organisations believe the election is vital and every group must realize they must not do anything that will impede on people’s rights to vote and be voted for.
He also advised that if the army would be deployed for the election, it should be at the behest of either the police or the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), adding that the army should only be as backup when even deployed.
Meanwhile, the Anambra State Commissioner of Police, Mr Garba Umar, has advised the people of the state not to entertain fear during the forthcoming polls, assuring that all necessary arrangements have been put in place to ensure that the polls go as scheduled.
Umar, who is the chairman of the Inter-Agency Consultative Committee on Security, also assured the INEC of its preparedness to assist it to conduct credible, free and fair polls.
Speaking on Tuesday during the meeting of the committee at the INEC headquarters in Awka, the police boss said the security agencies were determined to ensure that the election was hitch-free.
Earlier, the Resident Electoral Commissioner in the state, Dr Nkwachukwu Orji, said the meeting was part of regular interactions of the commission with security agencies to fine-tune measures put in place for the forthcoming election.