The Inspector General of Police (IGP), Kayode Egbetokun, has deployed three Deputy Inspectors General of Police (DIGs) to Kogi, Bayelsa and Imo states, ahead of the governorship election scheduled for November 11.
They are the Deputy Inspector General of Police in charge of the Department of Force Intelligence, DIG Habu Sani, who is deployed in Kogi State; DIG Daniel Sokari-Pedro, in charge of the Ministry of Information and Communications Technology, deployed in Bayelsa State, and DIG Frank Mba, DIG Department of Training and Development, deployed to monitor elections in Imo State.
The Police Spokesperson, Olumuyiwa Adejobi, disclosed this during a briefing on police preparedness in Abuja.
He stated that the IGP also ordered the deployment of another 220 operational vehicles to the three states while five police helicopters and over 15 gunboats were to be deployed for aerial patrol and waterways and riverine areas.
Adejobi said: “The upcoming off-cycle elections in Bayelsa, Imo and Kogi states are of utmost priority for our democracy, and the Nigeria Police Force is fully confident that they will be free, fair, secure and credible.
“The Nigeria Police Force has made extensive preparations to ensure the success of the upcoming elections.
“We have strategically deployed our personnel in these states to provide security and maintain law and order during the election process, following training on professionalism, neutrality and best practices provided to officers and men deployed on election duty.
“Our goal 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 repeatedly and continuously emphasized the commitment of the Nigeria Police Force, especially under his watch, to the principles of free, fair, secure and credible elections.
“The Nigeria Police will play a critical role in protecting the democratic process and maintaining 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 pursuit of our commitment to neutrality and as part of efforts to improve election monitoring, the IGP deployed Deputy Inspectors General of Police (DIGs) to monitor security arrangements and ensure that the elections run smoothly in the respective states.
“This additional layer of oversight is intended to ensure that elections meet the highest standards of transparency and credibility.
“Therefore, the Deputy Inspector General of Police, in charge of the Ministry of Training and Development, DIG Frank Emeka Mba, has been deployed to monitor the elections in Imo State; DIG Habu Sani in charge of Kogi State Department of Force Intelligence; and DIG Daniel Sokari-Pedro in charge of the Ministry of Information and Communications Technology, Bayelsa State.
“In a bid to ensure smooth conduct of election processes, the Inspector General of Police has ordered the distribution of another 220 operational vehicles including water cannons, armored personnel carriers, riverine gunboats, helmets, body armor, tear gas canisters etc. to the three affected states to intensify election security arrangements to augment the resources already deployed.
“Also, the IGP has ordered restriction on all forms of vehicular movement on roads, waterways and other modes of transportation, from 12:01 am to 6:00 pm on election day in the affected states, except those on essential services such as INEC officials, accredited Election Observers, ambulances responding to medical emergencies, firefighters, media.
“The order which is part of the measures taken to ensure a safe, secure and conducive environment for the conduct of elections, is aimed at ensuring the management of public order and the safety of voters, and at aiding the security services ineffective policing, preventing gangsters and criminally minded elements from disrupting the electoral process.
“In this regard, residents and travelers in neighboring countries should note and plan their movements to avoid untold hardships during the election period.
“Similarly, the IGP sternly warns all security personnel and attendants not to accompany their directors and politicians to polling booths and assembly centers during the elections as anyone found flouting this directive will be severely punished.
“He emphasizes that only security personnel specifically assigned to election duties can be seen within and around the designated election booths and centers.
“Also, the ban on the unauthorized use of sirens, flashing lights, covered license plates and tinted glasses still remains in force, and violators would be appropriately punished.
“All state-created and owned security outfits/organizations, quasi-security units and private surveillance and security outfits are also barred from participating in election security management.
“While empathizing with the well-meaning residents of the affected states on the inconveniences the restrictions may cause, the IGP urges all active voters to abide by the law and exercise their right to vote en masse.
“He warns, however, that the Force will act decisively against any individual or group(s) that seeks to test our common resolve and have the power to ensure peaceful elections.
“The IGP, therefore, enjoins all voters, party supporters and leaders to shun vote buying, vote selling, hate speech, misinformation and misinformation, ballot box stealing and other criminal acts as the armed forces and other security agencies will doing. is leaving no stone unturned to ensure that all violators of existing laws, especially the Electoral Act 2022 (as amended), face the full wrath of the law.
“The Nigerian Police Force is aware that it is essential that citizens have quick access to security services in the event of an emergency or to report security concerns during the election period.
“That is why we have established special emergency contact numbers that the public can use to reach the Joint Operation Room for the elections in each state. These figures are:
“Joint Operating Theater Imo State – 08034773600 or 08113659301
“Kogi State Joint Operation Room – 07038329084
“Bayelsa State Joint Operating Theater – 07034578208 09167322691
“Other songs will be rolled out as they become active.
“The Inspector General of Police, in his quest for secure elections, has left no stone unturned to ensure that the Nigeria Police Force is well prepared to protect the electoral process in Bayelsa, Imo and Kogi States.
“He assures that the NPF will continue to uphold the rule of law, ensure the security of all citizens and uphold our neutrality during this electoral exercise.
“The IGP urges the public to cooperate with the police and other security agencies, report suspicious activities and peacefully exercise their democratic rights.
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“Let us all work together to make this election a resounding success, a testament to the strength of our democracy and a shining example of free, fair, secure and credible elections.”
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