Ahead of the governorship elections held November 11 in Kogi, Bayelsa, and Imo States, the Inspector General of Police, Kayode Egbetokun has deployed three Deputy Inspectors General of Police (DIGs) to oversee the security arrangements and ensure the elections run smoothly in the respective states.
They are the Deputy Inspector-General of Police in charge of the Department of Force Intelligence, DIG Habu Sani who is deployed to Kogi State; DIG Daniel Sokari-Pedro in charge of the Department of Information and Communication Technology deployed to Bayelsa State and DIG Frank Mba, DIG Department of Training and Development, who is deployed to oversee elections in Imo State;
Force Public Relations Officer, ACP Olumuyiwa Adejobi who made this known while briefing on police preparation in Abuja stated that the IGP also ordered the deployment of additional 220 operational vehicles to the three states while 5 Police helicopters and over 15 gunboats to be deployed for aerial patrols and waterways and riverine areas.
The Force PRO said, “The forthcoming off-cycle elections in Bayelsa, Imo and Kogi states are of utmost priority to our democracy, and the Nigeria Police Force is fully committed to ensuring that they are free, fair, secure, and credible.
“The Nigeria Police Force has undertaken comprehensive preparations to ensure the success of the upcoming elections.
“We have strategically deployed our personnel to these states to provide security and maintain law and order throughout the electioneering process following training on professionalism, neutrality, and best practices carried out for officers and men deployed for the election duty.
“Our objective is to create an environment where all citizens can exercise their right to vote without fear or intimidation.
“Similarly, the Inspector General of Police has severally and continuously emphasized the dedication of the Nigeria Police Force, particularly under his watch, to the principles of free, fair, secure, and credible elections.
“The Nigeria Police Force will play a pivotal role in safeguarding the democratic process and upholding the integrity of these elections as we are committed to ensuring that every eligible voter can participate in the electoral process without fear or hindrance.
“In the pursuit of our commitment to neutrality and part of the bid to enhance the supervision of the elections, the IGP has deployed Deputy Inspectors General of Police (DIGs) to oversee the security arrangements and ensure the elections run smoothly in the respective states.
“This added layer of supervision is intended to guarantee that the elections meet the highest standards of transparency and credibility.
“Therefore, the Deputy Inspector-General of Police in charge of the Department of Training and Development, DIG Frank Emeka Mba has been deployed to oversee elections in Imo State; DIG Habu Sani in charge of the Department of Force Intelligence to Kogi State; and DIG Daniel Sokari-Pedro in charge of the Department of Information and Communication Technology to Bayelsa State.
“In a bid to ensure smooth electioneering processes, the Inspector-General of Police has ordered the distribution of an additional 220 operational vehicles, including water canons, Armored Personnel Carriers, gunboats for riverine areas, helmets, bulletproof vests, tear gas canisters etc, to the three affected states to intensify security arrangements for the elections to augment the already deployed assets.
“Also, the IGP has ordered a restriction of all forms of vehicular movement on roads, waterways, and other forms of transportation, from 12.01 am to 6 pm on election day in the affected states except those on essential services such as INEC Officials, Accredited Electoral Observers, Ambulances responding to medical emergencies, firefighters, media.
“The order which is part of measures emplaced to ensure a safe, secure, and conducive environment for the conduct of elections, is aimed at ensuring public order management, the safety of electorates, as well as assisting the security agencies in effective policing, thereby preventing hoodlums and criminally-minded elements from disrupting the electoral process.
“On that note, residents and travelers in the neighboring states should note and plan their movements to avoid any untold hardship during the election period.
“Similarly, the IGP sternly warns all security aides and escorts to desist from accompanying their principals and politicians to polling booths and collation centres during the election as anyone found flouting this directive will be severely sanctioned.
“He emphasizes that only security personnel specifically assigned to election duties are to be seen within and around the designated election booths and centres.
“Also, the ban on the unauthorized use of sirens, revolving lights, covered number plates, and tinted glasses is still in force, and violators would be sanctioned appropriately.
“All State-established and owned security outfits/organizations, quasi-security units, and privately-owned guard and security outfits are also barred from participating in election security management.
“While empathizing with well-meaning residents of the affected states on the inconveniences the restrictions may cause, the IGP urges all active electorates to be law-abiding and turn out en masse to exercise their franchise
“He however warns that the Force will deal decisively with any individual(s) or group(s) that might want to test our common resolve and might to ensure a peaceful election.
“The IGP, therefore, enjoins all electorates and party supporters and leaders to shun vote buying, vote selling, hate speech, misinformation, and disinformation, snatching of ballot boxes, and other criminal act(s) as the Force and other security agencies will leave no stone unturned in ensuring that all violators of extant laws, most especially the Electoral Act 2022 (as amended), are caused to face the full wrath of the law.
“The Nigeria Police Force is aware that it is essential for citizens to have quick access to security agencies in case of emergencies or to report any security concerns during the election period.
“Therefore, we have established dedicated emergency contact numbers that the public can use to reach out to the Joint Operation Room for the elections in each state. These numbers are:
“Joint Operations Room Imo State – 08034773600 or 08113659301
Joint Operations Room Kogi State – 07038329084
Joint Operations Room Bayelsa State – 07034578208, 09167322691