No fewer than 15 Commissioners of Police, 29 Deputy Commissioners of Police, and 40 Assistant Commissioners of Police have been deployed to oversee this weekend’s governorship election in Imo State.
This was as the police said, the Nigeria Labour Congress lacked the constitutional power to halt the poll.
Also, the Federal Road Safety Corps said it had deployed 1,500 personnel and 35 vehicles to Imo, Kogi, and Bayelsa states to help strengthen enforcement of restrictions during Saturday’s polls in the three states.
The Nigeria Police Force said it is working in collaboration with the Independent National Electoral Commission to ensure the success of the polls.
The Force Headquarters said heavy deployments had been made, particularly in violence-prone areas in the three states, adding that Deputy Inspector Generals of Police had been charged with head election security management in the three states.
The spokesperson for the police in Imo State, Henry Okoye, who gave the update in Owerri on Wednesday.
Okoye said the police were ready for the Saturday poll.
Okoye said, “We are ready for the Imo State governorship election holding this weekend. We will maintain the highest sense of neutrality in the election. We want to deepen our democracy by assisting to ensure that the Imo State election is free, fair, credible and devoid of violence.
“Fifteeen Commissioners of Police, 29 Deputy Commissioners of Police and 40 Assistant Commissioners of Police have been deployed from the Force Headquarters to Imo State for this election.
“Thirty-six units of mobile policemen have also been deployed from Abuja to Imo State for the purpose of this election.
“They will be assisting our own mobile policemen here in maintaining peace and order. A Deputy Inspector General of Police will be in charge of this election and will be assisted by an Assistant Inspector General of Police. The 40 Assistant Commissioners of Police will man each division in the state. The Current Divisional Officers will not be in charge of their divisions.
“The Assistant Commissioners of Police will be in charge. We are doing this to maintain the highest sense of neutrality. We must help to deepen our democracy. It is our constitutional responsibility. We want the votes of the Imo people to count. We will not allow anybody to hijack the electoral process. We are ready for this election.”
Reacting to the possibility of NLC strike disrupting the poll, Okoye said, “The NLC can never stop an election from being held in Imo State. They don’t have the constitutional power to stop elections from being held in Imo State. The election will be conducted and will be successful in Imo State.
“We have done an appraisal of the presidential and National Assembly polls conducted this year, which were relatively peaceful. And now we have come up with enhanced security measures to ensure that the election this time around is free, fair, transparent, and will be acceptable at the end of the day.
“I don’t need to mention any areas, but what I can say is that we have done our assessment, and we’re fully prepared, we have prepared enough security on the ground to make sure that the election in Imo State is successful,”
The police also vowed to deal ruthlessly with members of the Indigenous People of Biafra and the Eastern Security Network otherwise known as unknown gunmen, who may want to cause mayhem and disrupt the elections in the state.
“We are going to deal ruthlessly with any criminally-minded individual or group of individuals that wants to disrupt the election in Imo State, ” he said.