The Nigeria Police on Thursday 25 had said that no fewer than 23,000 personnel, including officers and rank and file, would be deployed to 2,627 polling units for September governorship election in Edo State.
The Deputy Inspector General (DIG) of Police in charge of Operations, Joshak Habila, who revealed this during a visit to the state police command to assess the level of preparedness for the exercise, was accompanied by Olayinka Sodipo, the Assistant Inspector General in charge of Zone 5.
19 political parties are expected to participate in the election.
Habila also said that 54 coastal buses and 1,152 Hilux vans would be provided to convey the personnel to their various duty posts across the 18 local government areas of the Edo state.
He explained that the marine police would cover the riverine locations in Ovia South-West, Ovia North-East, and Ikpoba-Okha Local government areas, while flash points had been crime-mapped and geo-located to beef up security.
Habila noted that a security data plan had been mapped out, following the security challenges that have affected elections in the country.
He said, “I want to remind you that the election in Edo State is going to serve as a test case to show 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 powerful and adequate security for those that are involved.”
While assuring voters and the media of their safety, the DIG warned that armed thuggery during the voting exercise would not be condoned, saying that cases of unlawful possession of firearms would also be addressed immediately.
He also warned the officers and men of the police command to remain fair and respect the rights of civilians in the discharge of their duties, as Ibrahim Idris, the Inspector-General of Police, would not hesitate to sanction all defaulting personnel appropriately.