THE Police yesterday said it would deploy three policemen to each of the 2,627 polling booths in the 192 wards of Edo during Saturday’s governorship election. The Force said it would enforce the withdrawal of police orderlies from all VIPs during the election.
Deputy Inspector-General of Police (DIG) in charge of Research and Planning, Adeleye Oyebade said this in Benin City during a press conference ahead of the election where he also announced the setting up of the Inter-Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security, ICCES, at the state local government area levels.
He said the police officers to be deployed to the polling units have been cautioned to be “apolitical, neutral, and professional in the conduct of their duties.”
He warned would-be miscreants and other political thugs who might be holding clandestine nocturnal meetings with the motive of to fomenting trouble to disrupt the Edo governorship election to desist from it.
Flanked by 8 Commissioners of Police and heads of other sister security agencies in the state, Oyebade said: “The police officers have been properly briefed on their expected roles and conduct during the election bearing in mind strict adherence to the principles and rules of the Code of Conduct for Officers and Men of the Nigeria Police Force.
“All other security personnel deployed for the election must also adhere to the code of conduct and rules of engagement on election duty.
“For effective manning of the polling booths, no fewer than three police officers and personnel of other security agencies will be deployed to each of the 2,627 polling booths.
“Let me at this juncture assure the good people of Edo State that the officers deployed for this special assignment will be apolitical, neutral, and professional in their constitutional responsibilities. The police officers and other counterparts from sister agencies who are involved in this election will be posted to the polling booths by name, and would wear identifiable tags for easy identification.”
He said as a prelude to the election, the Police recently mopped up arms to curtail the proliferation of illegal arms therefore said that no carrying of arms by”persons, groups, or outfits by whatever name would be allowed.
The DIG also disclosed that as from midnight on Friday, the restriction of movement would commence till same time on Saturday, warning that no one is allowed to wear any cloth, emblem, or colour signifying any political party to the polling units on Saturday.
Oyebade added, “No person is allowed to move around with security personnel around polling units. Everyone is enjoined to vote and return to their respective houses or remain peacefully within the approved parameters of the polling centres.”
Sets up inter-agency c’ttee, joint control room
The Inter-agency Consultative Committee on Election Security, ICCES was raised to ensure transparent peaceful, free, fair and credible elections that meets international best practices.
DIG Oyebade said in a press conference yesterday, that members of the committee were drawn from the Nigeria Police Force, the Armed Forces, the Department of State security Services, the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, the Nigerian Immigration Service, the Nigerian Correctional Service, (formerly Nigerian Prisons Service), the Nigeria Customs Service, the Federal Road Safety Corps, the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency and INEC which serves as secretary to the Committee.
He stated that to achieve its mandate, members of the committee are determined to work assiduously with common purpose and collectively without fear or favour and will ensure that the confidence reposed in it is not betrayed.
He also announced the establishment of a Joint Control Room with dedicated lines for the use of the public especially during emergencies as part of efforts geared towards efficient management of information and security.
“The following numbers – 08154352118 (for calls only) and 08154350436 (SMS and WhatsApp) – are available for the use of members of the public. The Joint Control Room will be manned by representatives of all the security agencies in the state,” he said.