The police have said they will deploy adequate personnel, including plain clothes officers, for the governorship elections in Kogi, Imo and Bayelsa states slated for November 11.The Force Public Relations Officer, Olumuyiwa Adejobi, disclosed in an interview with one of our correspondents that some anti-riot equipment such as teargas canisters, water cannons, Armoured Personnel Carriers and drones would be used by policemen during the elections.
Adejobi disclosed that the leadership of the police had held several meetings with the Independent National Electoral Commission at the level of a committee co-chaired by the Inspector-General of Police, Kayode Egbetokun, and the INEC Chairman, Prof Mahmood Yakubu.
With about seven weeks to the off-season elections, there is palpable political tension in the three states as thugs have continued to inflict terror on parties and supporters, especially those in the opposition in the states.
The report also noted that governorship elections in Kogi, Imo and Bayelsa have in recent years been marred by several unsettling events. This has led to avoidable loss of lives and property.Governor Hope Uzodimma of Imo State is seeking re-election, likewise his counterpart in Bayelsa State, Douye Diri, while Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State is rounding off his second term and is supporting the All Progressives Congress candidate, Usman Ododo, whom he anointed among the aspirants to win the party’s primary.
Adejobi however said, “For our preparation towards the off-cycle governorship elections in Kogi, Bayelsa, and Imo states, we have done our operational order for each of these states and we are very ready for deployment.
“We have shared our election duty documents – the Standard Operating Procedures – with our personnel. Since it’s an off-season election, we are going to have adequate personnel deployed.“The Inspector-General of Police has directed the Deputy Inspector-General of Police in charge of operations to circulate the operation order and Standard Operations Procedure – just like a bucket note that everyone deployed for the assignment would be armed with.
“We are going to deploy our equipment as well to make sure that each of the three states is fortified for free, fair and credible elections. We have enough equipment, arms and ammunition, teargas canisters, water cannons, armoured personnel carriers, drones, and our plain clothes officers would also be on the fields to gather intelligence for us.”