The Nigeria Police on Thursday August 25, reportedly said that no fewer than 23,000 personnel would be deployed in 2,627 polling units for next month’s governorship election in Edo State.
Joshak Habila, the Deputy Inspector-General of Police in charge of Operations, who disclosed this during a visit to the state command to assess the level of preparedness for the exercise, was accompanied by the Assistant Inspector General in charge of Zone 5, Olayinka Sodipo.
Nineteen political parties are expected to participate in the election.
Habila was also reported to have said 1,152 hilux vans and 54 buses would be provided to convey the personnel to their various duty posts across the 18 local government areas of the state.
He explained that the marine police would cover the riverine locations in Ovia North-East, Ovia South-West and Ikpoba-Okha LGAs, while special arrangements would be made for flash points.
He said, “I want to remind you that the election in Edo is going to serve as a test case in the ability of the police and other security agencies.
“Remember that we are not the drivers of the engine of elections in Nigeria. But we are responsible for providing robust and adequate security for those that are involved.”
While assuring voters, electoral officials and journalists of their safety, the DIG warned thugs against interfering with the election as that would not be tolerated, adding that cases of unlawful possession of firearms would also be addressed swiftly.
He also warned the officers and men of the command to remain neutral 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.
The 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.
Ezike added that each policeman on election duty would be identified with a codifying tag to manage the use of orderlies and armed escorts as security details.