The Inspector General of Police (IGP), Ibrahim Idris, has approved the deployment of 25,000 policemen to secure the rescheduled governorship election in Edo State.
The election was postponed by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to Wednesday, September 28, following a security alert by the Police and the Department of State Services.
In a statement issued Monday by the Force Public Relations Officer, DCP Don Awunah, the IG said the police had adopted a revised operation plan that would see 25,000 of its personnel, including Police Mobile Force, Counter Terrorism Unit, Explosive Ordinance Disposal, Special Protection Unit, Force Animal Branch, Police Air wing [Aerial patrol) and Marine Police Unit [Riverine Patrol) provide security before, during and after the polls.
He said: “This is in addition to the deployment of other sister agencies to ensure a robust security template for the election. Also, Police Helicopters, gun boats, Armoured Personnel Carriers, Police Dogs and technical platforms will be deployed”.
Awunah noted that Mr. Idris, determined that the rescheduled Edo Gubernatorial Election is conducted in an atmosphere of peace and security, ordered the activation of the revised operation plan for the governorship election slated to hold throughout the State next tomorrow.
He added that the revised election security operation plan will guarantee free, fair and credible election, secure electoral process, enable eligible voters exercise their franchise freely and voluntary, protection of election materials and officials, ensure adequate security before, during and after the election.
He noted that protection of life and property in the entire State will be of paramount importance, warning that the police will be firm and decisive in dealing with any infractions of the law, actions and activities that constitute breach of peace and contrary to public order.
He said: “For avoidance of doubt, the Police will mobilize and deploy adequate resources and personnel to prosecute the Edo Governorship election conclusively”.
The statement said the IGP directed all police officers and officers of all sister security agencies deployed for the election to conduct themselves in the best professional manner, maintaining apolitical disposition and strictly adhering to the rules of engagement.
He added that the good people of Edo State are advised to be law abiding and refrain from any action that will jeopardize the existing peace and security in the State.
The statement also said Idris has directed the Commissioner of Police in Edo State to enforce the restriction of vehicular movement from (00:00) 12 midnight Tuesday, 27th September,2016 to (18:00hrs) 6pm 28th September, 2016 except those involved in essential duties who must be properly identified.