By TONY AILEMEN
INSPECTOR General of Police, IGP Ibrahim Idris has announced massive the deployment of security forces to South East ahead of the Tuesday visit to the region by President Muhammadu Buhari and the forthcoming Anambra gubernatorial election.
A statement released on Sunday by the Chief Superintendents of Police, CSP Moshood Jimoh, IGP Idris approved the deployment of 26,000 personnel, backed up with military equipment for effective surveillance and ensuring that Crimes is reduced during the period.
Already, members of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB has issued an order of “Vote and die” ahead of the Saturday’s election.
The order is seen as an affront to government plan to conduct the Anambra gubernatorial election despite threat by outlawed IPOB to stop the people from coming out to vote.
According to the statement, the IGP, ” In order to ensure adequate security and safety of lives and properties before, during and after the elections, the Inspector General of Police has graciously approved deployment of additional Twenty Six Thousand (26,000) Police Personnel, comprising the Police Special Forces, Police Mobile Force, the Counter Terrorism Unit (CTU), Special Protection Unit (SPU), the Anti Bomb Squad (EOD), the Force Marine Police, Conventional Policemen, the Force Armament Unit, personnel from Force Criminal Intelligence and Investigation Department, FCIID,, Mounted Troops, the attack and Sniffer Dogs Section, Police Gun Boats, Police Helicopters and Armoured Personnel Carriers (APC) to Anambra State and most of these personnel are already on the ground”
The massive deployment also include ” three (3) Police Aerial/Surveillance Helicopters, Ten (10) Gun Boats, Fifteen (15) Armoured Personnel Carriers (APC) and Three Hundred and Three (303) Police patrol vehicles have been deployed for the operations to cover the entire State including the riverine areas and difficult terrain”
The is aside from arrangements by other security and safety agencies who are members of Inter Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security, ICCES, in the State are also deployed to complement the personnel of the Nigeria Police Force during the election.
Jimoh announced that “Four (4) policemen are deployed to each polling unit along with personnel of other security and safety agencies. No armed security personnel will be allowed within the polling units. Armed police detachments on patrol vehicles are going to patrol the streets and other locations throughout the State to prevent crime and intervene to quell any violence that may occur during the election.”
“Consequent on the renewed threat by the outlawed Independent People of Biafra (IPOB) and other affiliate groups to disrupt the election, the Force has deployed Special Police Forces, Police Mobile Force, Specially Trained Counter Terrorism Unit and other Intelligent and Tactical Squads to deal decisively with “IPOB”, a group already declared a “terrorist organisation” by court of competent jurisdiction in accordance with the law”
The statement called on the good people of Anambra State “to go out and vote on the day of the election and disregard the “Vote and Die” threat campaign or the call for boycott of the election by Independent People of Biafra (IPOB) as enough security measures are in place to protect them and every available resource of the Force are being deployed to make sure that IPOB don’t actualise the threats”
“Furthermore, IPOB and its leadership are warned in their own interest to steer clear of Anambra State, the Nigeria Police Force will not hesitate to use all legal means within the ambit of the law to checkmate and prevent the group “IPOB” from interfering in the conduct of the election”
The police also placed ban on security details of top government appointees, from coming to the polling units with their principals.
“Political parties, their leaderships and flag bearers contesting in the election, traditional rulers, community leaders, parents and guardians in Anambra State are advised to warn and prevail on their members, supporters, subjects, children and Wards to be law abiding and not allow themselves to be used to cause disturbance of the peace or disruption of the election anywhere in the State.
The full weight of the law will be applied on any person or group of persons found violating the electoral act or indulging in any criminal conduct capable of causing violence during the election”
“Public office holders, politicians, traditional rulers and other VIPs will not be allowed to go to the polling unit with their security details, orderlies and escorts. Security details, orderlies and escorts in their own interest are hereby warned to desist from escorting their principals to polling booths during the election. Any deviant security orderly, detail or escort will be apprehended and dealt with accordingly”
As part of additional measures aimed at guaranteeing a secure, peaceful and credible election, the Inspector General of Police, IGP Ibrahim K. Idris, and the INEC Chairman will attend a stakeholder/peace accord meeting with all the political parties, their flag bearers contesting in the election, INEC officials, election observers, other Stakeholders and members of the public before the date of the election in Awka, Anambra State.
The statement also noted that police personnel deployed for the election are under strict instructions to be polite and civil but firm in the discharge of their duties and other responsibilities.
“They are to provide adequate security for the electorates, INEC Officials, election materials, election observers and other individuals and bodies that have statutory roles in the conduct of the election, at the polling booths, Collation Centres and INEC Offices in Anambra State throughout the period of the election.”
“There will be a complete enforcement of restriction of vehicular movements in and out of Anambra State through the land and riverine borders with other neighbouring States and within the State from 12 midnight on Friday 17 November, 2017 till after the voting period on the day of the election on 18 November, 2017.”
“However, government agencies and personnel on essential duties and services will be allowed passage within the period. Security identification tag will be provided for all the security and safety agencies, INEC officials, election observers/monitors and others that have statutory duties to carry out in the election. The security personnel deployed will only operate within the area they are posted for the election.”
“The Commissioners of Police and personnel in the States contiguous to Anambra State have been put on red alert by the Inspector General of Police not to allow influx of miscreants, thugs and people with questionable characters into Anambra State to disrupt the election”
The statement announced that ” a broad base security threats assessment has been carried out in Anambra State by the Nigeria Police Force and it’s still ongoing. All the identified flash points, trouble spots and other perceived violence/vulnerable areas in the state have been profiled and appropriate pragmatic strategies and tactics have been implemented to checkmate and tackle them ahead of the election.”