Inspector-General of Police Olukayode Egbetokun has ordered the deployment of 220 operational vehicles for election security management in the upcoming November 11 governorship elections in Imo, Kogi, and Bayelsa.
The Force Public Relations Officer, Olumuyiwa Adejobi, disclosed this in a statement on Sunday, saying that the IGP urged stakeholders in the three states to maintain peace during the elections.
“ In a bid to have smooth electioneering processes in the forthcoming off-cycle governorship elections in Bayelsa, Imo, and Kogi States scheduled for November 11 2023, the Inspector-General of Police, Olukayode Egbetokun, has ordered the distribution of additional 220 operational vehicles, including water cannons, armoured personnel carriers to the three affected states to intensify security arrangements for the elections,” Mr Adejobi said.
Mr Adejobi explained that the IGP organised training for the police officers involved in election security management and sought the approval of the federal government for the payment of their allowances and other necessary support to boost their morale during the operations.
He explained that the police will complete the operational deployment in the three states on Friday.
He quoted the IG also as saying that dignitaries and very important persons would not be allowed to move about with police escort on election day, as it violates the electoral act.
Speaking on a Channels TV programme themed ‘Peoples Town Hall On Election Security’, the IGP assured the nation that the police had enough manpower to handle the election in the three states.
“We have been able to deploy adequately for the election. In Bayelsa, we’ll be covering 2,224 polling units, and we have enough men and resources to cover those polling units,” Mr Egbetokun said.
‘’We have also made the same adequate arrangements for Imo and Kogi. We have done our threat assessments, and we already know how to carry out our deployments, which we have already done,” he added.
The IGP finally emphasised the need for police officers to stay neutral during the election exercise.
“ Security agents are meant to be neutral and non-partisan, but what you see as partisanship might not be what the police officer sees. Police officers have been told during training not to be partisan. Any officer found culpable of partisanship will not be spared,” Mr Egbetokun said.
Mr Egbetokun urged the electorate to come out and vote freely, stating that the police force would be doing things differently from the last election.