By Alex Enumah in Abuja
As part of efforts at ensuring a secured, safe and peaceful environment for the conduct of the forthcoming governorship election in Osun State, Inspector General of Police Ibrahim Idris has announced the deployment of adequate personnel and logistics to the state.
The Osun State Governorship election is scheduled to hold on September 22.
A statement signed by Force Public Relations Officer, Acting DCP Jimoh Moshood, said the police, led by IGP Idris, had already concluded all arrangements to ensure the election was successful.
“To ensure adequate security and safety of life and property before, during and after the election, the IGP has graciously approved the deployment of adequate Police personnel to Osun State for the Election. The personnel that were already trained and oriented on election security and electoral act on the responsibilities and functions expected of them, comprises the Police Mobile Force (PMF) Units, Counter Terrorism Unit (CTU), the Special Protection Unit (SPU), the Anti Bomb Squad (EOD), Conventional Policemen, the Armament Unit, personnel of FCIID, IGP Monitoring, IGP IRT teams, the Sniffer dogs section and the Mounted Troop.
“Four (4) unarmed Policemen and two (2) others from other security agencies will be on duty at each voting point throughout the state. The Police Mobile Force (PMF) headed by the very Senior Officer will provide security at the RAC, Super RAC and Collation centres.
“Two (2) Police Patrol Surveillance Helicopters, Thirty (30) Armoured Personnel Carriers, Ten (10) Armoured Personnel Vehicles and Three Hundred (300) Police patrol vehicles are already deployed to cover the entire state including difficult terrains. Other security and safety agencies who are members of Inter-Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security (ICCES) in the state have also been posted to complement the Nigeria Police Force during the election”, the statement read in part.
Moshood disclosed that the Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG), Department of Operations (DOPs), who will oversee the entire security arrangement, is already on ground in Osun State. The DIG, he said, will be assisted by an Assistant Inspector General of Police and Eight (8) Commissioners of Police and other senior Officers. Also, each of the Eight (8) Police Area Commands in Osun State will be manned by a Commissioner of Police.
“The DIG, DOPS will lead, implement and coordinate the security operations, and also supervise the deployment of all Personnel of other Security Agencies under the Inter Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security (ICCES) for the election throughout the 3,764 Polling units/voting points in the 332 Wards and the Thirty (30) LGAs of the state”, he said.
While it noted that police officers and personnel of other security and safety agencies deployed for the elections had been warned to be strict, polite and civil but firm in the discharge of their duties and other responsibilities, the statement warned that the force would not take lightly any infringement of the Electoral Act, including ‘vote buying and selling’.
To this end, the police has released the following phone numbers it said members of the public who noticed any act of vote buying and selling anywhere in the state before and during the election can use in reaching it: (i) 08037025670 (ii) 08037160989 (iii) 08033415589 (iv) 08032451594.
The statement also warned security personnel not to escort their Principals and Politicians to polling units and collation centres during the election, stressing that any erring security detail will be apprehended and dealt with accordingly.
“All the Forty-Eight (48) participating political parties participating in the election and their leaderships and supporters, Traditional rulers, Community leaders, parents and Guardians are advised to seriously warn their members, supporters, subjects, children and wards to be law abiding and not allow themselves to be used to cause disturbance of the peace or disruption of the election/electoral process anywhere in the state. The full weight of the law will be applied on any person or group of persons found violating the electoral act or indulging in any criminal conduct capable of causing violence before, during and after the election”, it added.