To ensure adequate security of lives and properties during the September 10 gubernatorial election in Edo state, the Nigeria Police on Thursday announced that no fewer than 23,000 personnel would be deployed to the state.
The operatives, comprising of officers and the rank and file, would be deployed to guard the 2,627 polling units across the state for the election.
The Deputy Inspector General of Police in charge of Operations, Joshak Habila, disclosed this during a visit to the state command to assess the level of its preparedness for the exercise.
The DIG disclosed further that 1,152 Hilux vans and 54 coastal buses would be provided to convey the personnel to their various duty posts across the 18 local government areas of the state.
Habila explained that operatives of the marine police would cover the riverine locations in Ovia North-East, Ovia South-West and Ikpoba-Okha LGAs, while flash points had been crime-mapped and geo-located for additional security, adding that a security data plan had been mapped out, in view of the security challenges that affect elections in the country.
The DIG who assured eligible voters and the media of their safety, warned that armed thuggery would not be tolerated during the voting exercise, adding that cases of unlawful possession of firearms would also be addressed swiftly.
He also warned the officers and men of the command to stay away from partisan politics and respect the rights of civilians in the discharge of their duties, as the Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, would not hesitate to sanction all erring personnel appropriately.
Earlier, the AIG in charge of Zone 5 Mr. Adeyinka Kolawole Shodipo, urged the officers to maintain professionalism in the discharge of their duties.
He also reiterated the readiness of the Zonal headquarters to provide effective and efficient policing throughout the voting exercise.
On his part, the State Commissioner of Police, Chris Ezike, who is the Chairman of the Inter-Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security, said five personnel from different security agencies would be stationed at each of the polling units.
He disclosed that each policeman on election duty would be identified with a codified tag, with a view to managing the use of orderlies and armed escorts as security details.