300,000 Police Operatives Set For Presidential Election.

Hyacinth Chinweuba

The Nigeria Police, is going to deploy about three hundred thousand personnel nationwide to provide security for the presidential election holding on Saturday.

According to the police, nearly every police officer out of the over three hundred and fifty thousand policemen in the country would be actively involved in election duties.

Already, Acting Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, has deployed six Deputy Inspectors-General of Police to supervise elections in the six geo-political regions in the country.

They are Deputy Inspectors-General of Police Usman Abubakar, North-East; Godwin Nwobodo, North-Central; Anthony Michael, South-East; Taiwo Lakanu, South-South; Aminchi Baraya, North-West and Yakubu Jubril, South-West.

The Force Public Relations Officer, Frank Mba, said the Deputy Inspectors-General of Police were expected to move to their respective operational zones on Monday.

Mba, an Assistant Commissioner of Police, said the Inspector-General of Police would coordinate the Force Strategic Election Security Operational Plan from the Force Headquarters, Abuja.

He said, “Almost every policeman in the country would be on election duty; that is why we are withdrawing policemen from VIPs.

“Even police personnel in the offices, in control room, including those on decoy operation or intelligence, everyone would be on duty. Our Medical personnel would also be on standby; we are maximally deploying all our resources and personnel for this election.”

“We are deploying maximally and would be making utmost use of our human and material resources and the deployment would be overt and covert.

“Deployment of helicopters will be based on exigencies; both the air wing and the marine unit are fully at alert. The canine and the mounted troopers are also fully activated as well as the Explosives and Ordinance Department.”

Mba however did not name the flashpoints that the police would monitor closely for security reasons,disclosing the areas would not be productive.

“For security reasons, we would not want to label states. We think that would not be productive. The only thing I can say is that the DIGs have been deployed by the IG. They are moving out to supervise the arrangements in each of the geo-political zones. Most of them should be at their geo-political zones by Monday,” he said.

A think tank, the International Crisis Group, had earlier identified Rivers, Akwa Ibom, Kaduna, Kano, Plateau and Adamawa states as places that are at risk of electoral violence.

It argued that local violence might snowball potentially ballooning into a national crisis, advising that the Federal Government could reduce the risks of election violence by releasing all funds approved for the Independent National Electoral Commission and security agencies to enable them to carry out their duties.

The report said, “The electoral authorities should intensify outreach to political parties aimed at winning their confidence and firm up logistical arrangements, particularly for Election Day.

“Security agencies should act professionally, ensure neutrality between all parties, and finalise contingency plans for preventing or responding to violence.” he concluded

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