Barely 48 hours to the governorship elections in Kogi and Bayelsa States, Police said it had identified possible risks that could constitute a threat to the smooth conduct of the elections.
The Deputy Inspector-General of Police in charge of Operations, Abdulmajid Ali, made this known to newsmen in Lokoja on Thursday.
He said that individuals and groups that could pose security challenges to the election had been identified, classified and placed under surveillance.
He said that a security threat assessment carried out in the states made it possible for the police to discover all these.
According to him, the outcome of the intelligence-driven assessment was also used as a guide in the deployment of personnel and logistics for the elections.
Ali said that the objective was to create a secure and peaceful environment to give citizens the confidence to freely exercise their franchise.
He explained that adequate security has been put in place for all INEC personnel, ad-hoc staff, agents, domestic and international observers during the entire period.
“We have also emplaced adequate security for both sensitive and non-sensitive election materials, both at the voting centers, while on transit and at the various collation points.
He said that 66,241 policemen would be deployed for election security operations in both Kogi and Bayelsa States on Nov. 16.
Out of this, he said 35,200 personnel will be deployed to Kogi State while 31,041 will be deployed to Bayelsa State.
He said that they would be complemented by deployment of Police Mobile Force, Special Protection Unit and Counter-terrorism Unit and other security outfits.
In addition, Ali said that the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, had ordered the posting of Deputy Inspectors-General of Police (DIGs), AIGs, CPs, DCPs and ACPs to all senatorial districts and local government areas within the two states.
He made it clear that the heavy deployment of policemen for the election was not to intimidate voters but to make the elections a success.
According to him, personnel deployed on the election security operations have been charged to be civil, fair and professional and be rule of law-guided in the discharge of their duties.
“In so doing, however, they have been additionally instructed to be firm and decisive,’’ he said.
Ali said that all entry and exit points into Kogi and Bayelsa States from contiguous states shall be closed as from 12 a.m. of Nov.15 to 4 p.m. of Nov.16.
“There shall also be restriction of movements within the two states as from 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. of Nov.16, with the exemption of those on election duties and essential services,’’ he said.
Ali said that the Inspector-General of Police had directed that with effect from Friday, Nov. 15, all security aides attached to political office holders be withdrawn until the conclusion of the elections.
He gave an assurance that the police and other security agencies were fully ready to support INEC in delivering successful elections in Kogi and Bayelsa States.
He said that the country has had enough of electoral violence, warning those planning to foment trouble on election day to have a change of mind.
“In securing the law-abiding citizens during the elections, we shall not hesitate to deploy our potent assets to deal firmly and decisively with electoral deviants,’’ he warned.