By Maxwell Adeleye
The Inspector-General of Police, Mr Ibrahim Idris, has charged personnel deployed for the Edo governorship election scheduled for Sept. 28 to adhere strictly to the rules of engagement.
A statement from the force spokesman, Mr Don Awunah, in Abuja on Monday said Idris also charged the officers and men to conduct themselves in the best professional manner, maintaining apolitical disposition.
“The revised election security operation plan will guarantee free, fair and credible election, secure electoral process, and enable eligible voters to exercise their franchise freely and voluntary,’’ he quoted him as saying.
He said that the inspector-general promised that the protection of lives and property in the entire state would be of paramount importance.
“However, the police will be firm and decisive in dealing with any infractions of the law, actions and activities that constitute breach of peace and contrary to public order,’’ the inspector-general said.
He said that for the avoidance of doubt, the police would mobilise and deploy adequate resources and personnel to prosecute the election conclusively.
Awunah said that 25,000 personnel earlier deployed for the election would be retained to achieve the expected outcome of credible election acceptable to all stakeholders.
The spokesman said the Police Mobile Force, the Counter Terrorism Unit, the Explosive Ordinance Disposal, the Special Protection Unit, the Force Animal Branch, the Police Air Wing and the Marine Police Unit would be involved in the poll.
He said that this would be in addition to the deployment by other agencies to ensure a robust security template for the election.
“Also, police helicopters, gun boats, armoured personnel carriers, police dogs and technical platforms will be deployed,’’ he said.
He said the I-G advised the people of Edo to remain law abiding and warned them to refrain from any action that could jeopardise the peace and security in the state.
“The Nigeria Police Force on its part will discharge its statutory functions effectively, unbiased and in accordance with the principles of democratic policing,’’ he quoted the police boss as saying.
He said that Idris directed the commissioner of police in Edo to enforce the restriction of vehicular movement frommidnight on Sept. 27 to 6 p.m. on Sept. 28 except for those on essential duties.
The election earlier scheduled for Sept. 10 was postponed following security concerns raised by the police and the Department of State Services.