Okon Bassey in Uyo
Akwa Ibom State Police Command wednesday disclosed that 15, 000 policemen with police helicopter for aerial surveillance will be deployed to provide security on the December 2, 2017 local government elections in the state.
The Command also issued shoot at sight order on anybody with unauthorised arms during the election period specially thugs, warning politicians and political office holders in the state to advise their aides accordingly.
The Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), DSP Bala Elkana, who disclosed this while interacting with journalists in Uyo said while at least two conventional Policemen will be within each of the polling unit, the Special Armed Force will be on patrol and strategic areas for any distress calls.
â€œNobody with arms will be allowed to be within the polling unit. Outside the polling unit, we have armed policemen at strategic locations to respond to any distress calls.
â€œWe also have policemen that will escort the sensitive election materials and provide security to electoral officials. We also have aerial surveillance of police helicopterâ€ he explained.
DSP Elkana further added that the marine policemen have also been reinforced with support from the Nigerian Navy to protect the water ways and the coastal communities of the state.
The PPRO stressed that the State Police Command is taking the election seriously hence the adequate arrangements made to cover the pre-election, election and post-election issues and reactions.
He posited that the anti-riot policemen have been well positioned to take care of any reaction from the election adding that already some anti-riot police squads outside the state have arrived to support mobile policemen on ground.
Particularly, the image maker of the state police command said security have been beefed up in special focus areas like Ukanafun and Etim Ekpo local government areas and other flash points in the state
â€œThe Police Command is fully prepared to secure the electoral process completely. Politicians have been warned especially political office holders not to go to the polling units with their armed details. â€œAny Aides that follow their principals to the polling units with arm will be tried and dismissed as it happened in Rivers State.
â€œParents are also advised to monitor the movement of their child and ward especially those one likely to be used as political thugs because we are also well prepared for them.
â€œAnybody that carry arms to electoral place, there is a shoot at sight order. If you are armed, you are no longer a civilian. The order is from the State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Zubairu Muazu. He has mandated all the tactical units to take up anyone who comes up with arm to disrupt the electoral process.
â€œSo anybody who think he has fire arms somewhere and want to come as political thugs should get the warning clearly. Nobody should accuse the police of killing anybody who is armedâ€ Elkana declared.