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Police deploy 11,000 men, ban vehicular movements from 6 am to 6 pm









We’re set for poll, says INEC
With the number of policemen deployed to Kogi
State for today’s governorship election, voters can
feel assured that their safety is guaranteed.

No fewer than 11,000 policemen were deployed for
the poll, in addition to men and officers of other
security agencies.

There is also a restriction on movements as
directed by the Inspector-General of Police (IGP)
Solomon Arase.

As part of measures aimed at ensuring a hitch-free
and credible election, Arase ordered a partial
restriction of vehicular movement within Kogi’s
boundaries from 6am to 6 pm today.

The police said in a statement that the decision was
taken because of the state’s location as Kogi shares
boundaries with 10 other states.

“All states contiguous to Kogi State will be heavily
policed, while motorists and other travellers plying
the affected routes will be subjected to rigorous
search by security agents on stop-and-search
duty,” police spokesperson Olabisi Kolawole said in
the statement.

Arase also ordered the deployment of key police
officers, including Deputy Inspector-General of
Police Sotonye Wakama, who is in charge of the
Department of Operations in Abuja. He is
supervising security arrangements in Kogi.

The DIG will be assisted by three Commissioners of
Police and three Assistant Commissioners of
Police.

The police added: “For the sake of the election, the
State Commissioner of Police, CP Emmanuel
Ojukwu has been redeployed to Force
Headquarters, Abuja pending the conclusion of the
election.

“In addition, 4,969 personnel of the Police Mobile
Force (PMF) drawn from different squadrons
across the country have been deployed to strategic
places to complement the 11,000 conventional
police manpower, and other security agents
already deployed for the election.

“The Nigeria Police Force notes that the partial
restriction of movement order is informed by the
exigencies of overriding security considerations.

“The Force is not unmindful of the citizens’ right to
freedom of movement. This measure is aimed at
forestalling tactics by faceless groups to
undermine the electoral process.”

The police urged travellers to take advantage of
alternate routes to their destinations where
necessary.

By Thursday, the Kogi State Police Command had
begun deploying the officers and men.

At least five police officers will man each of the
poling units, the police said. It also read the riot act
to politicians and thugs who may want to

perpetrate violence.
Spokesman of the state command, Ovyie William,
said the police was prepared for the election which
analysts describe as an epic battle between the
incumbent governor Idris Wada of the Peoples
Democratic Party and his major challenger, Prince
Abubakar Audu of the All Progressives Congress.

Detachments of anti-riot policemen were seen
being conveyed in trucks to different local
government areas.

Williams said: “The police is prepared to ensure
free, fair and credible election. We’ll repeat what
we did during the 2015 general elections where the
police were commended.

“Over 11,000 officers have been deployed in Kogi
State to ensure there is no disorder before, during
and after the election.

“We are deploying police officers in various
divisions and area commands for re-deployment to
Kogi East, Kogi West and Kogi Central to ensure
that there is adequate security of lives and
property and that nobody tampers with electoral
materials.”

William, an Assistant Superintendent of Police, said
the Inter-Agency Consultative Committee on
Election Security had also been meeting to
strategise on security.

The committee is made up of security and para-
military agencies, such as the Nigerian Army, Navy,
Airforce, Nigerian Prisons Services, Immigration,
Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC),
among others.

William said: “Since October, we have met about
six times in preparation for this election. We met to
strategise on how to ensure that there is free, fair
and peaceful election. The Nigerian Army deployed
their men across the borders because Kogi State is
bounded by 10 different states.

“Being a transit state, people passing through Kogi
will be thoroughly checked so that no hoodlum will
sneak into the state to cause any problem.

“We’re ready for anybody, especially politicians and
their thugs who may want to foment trouble in this
election.

“The presence of the police in all the areas is to tell
you that we are ready, and we are not going to
tolerate any kind of thuggery in this election.
Anybody found culpable will be arrested and
prosecuted.

“We intend to deploy no fewer than five police
officers in each of the poling units. If you don’t
have your PVC, you don’t have any business in a
polling unit. After voting, you can stay behind to
wait for the announcement, but you must not
cause trouble.”










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