Despite insecurity, Nigerian police deploy 17,500 personnel for local election


Despite the insecurity ravaging virually every part of Nigeria, the police in Rivers State said they have deployed no fewer than 17,500 personnel for Saturday’s local government elections in the state.

The police spokesperson in the state, Nnamdi Omoni, made this known in a statement in Port Harcourt on Thursday.

Mr Omoni, a superintendent of police, said the deployment of the personnel and hardware was aimed to forestall possible violence and ensure free, fair and transparent exercise.

He said, “The Rivers State Police Command wishes to inform the general public that adequate security has been emplaced to ensure a peaceful exercise.

“To realise the full objective of the council elections and engender a seamless exercise, the command has deployed 17,500 personnel.

“The deployment will be complemented by deployments from other sister security agencies to maintain law and order before, during and after the elections.”

Mr Omoni said the state Commissioner of Police, Eboka Friday, had directed total restriction of movement of persons, vehicles and boats on land and waterways before and during the exercise.

He said the restriction would begin from midnight on Friday to 2 p.m. on Saturday.

According to him, the police commissioner who is the Chairman of the Inter-Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security, also barred VIPs and politicians from going to voting centres with their security details.

“Movement of VIPs and politicians is only allowed from their houses to the voting centres and back, as provided by the Electoral Act.

“In addition, all entry and exit points to the state will be completely blocked until the elections are over. No commercial activities will be allowed close to the polling units,” Mr Omoni stated.

He further noted that security forces would patrol the communities to ensure full compliance with the directive, and warned that violators would be arrested and prosecuted.

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He said the directive was targeted towards ensuring a conducive atmosphere for a free, fair and transparent exercise.

(NAN)

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