The Nigeria Police has disclosed that it would have at least three police officers guarding each polling station during the Edo governorship election.
To achieve this, 7,881 police officers will be manning the 2,627 polling booths in Edo State during the Saturday’s governorship election.
Adeleye Oyebade, the Deputy Inspector-General of Police (DIG) in charge of research and planning, said this in Benin during a press conference organised to announce the setting up of the Inter-Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security (ICCES).
The ICCES, which is replicated at state and local government level, is to provide an enabling environment for a free and fair election that will remain a reference point in election security.
PREMIUM TIMES reports that the committee comprises the Nigeria Police, Armed Forces, Department of State Services, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, Nigeria Immigration Service, Nigeria Correctional Service, Federal Road Safety Corps, National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, and the Independent National Electoral Commission.
Representatives of all the ICCES members were present at the briefing.
Mr Oyebade said the police officers to be deployed to the polling units have been cautioned to be apolitical, neutral, and professional in the conduct of their duties.
He said, “The police officers have been properly briefed on their expected roles and conduct during the election, bearing in mind strict adherence to the principles and rules of the code of conduct for officers and men of the Nigeria Police Force.
“All other security personnel deployed for the election must also adhere to the code of conduct and rules of engagement on election duty.
“For effective manning of the polling booths, no fewer than three police officers and personnel of other security agencies will be deployed in each of the 2,627 polling booths.
“Let me at this juncture assure the good people of Edo State that the officers deployed for this special assignment will be apolitical, neutral, and professional in their constitutional responsibilities. The police officers and other counterparts from sister agencies who are involved in this election will be posted to the polling booths by name, and would wear identifiable tags for easy identification.”
He said as a prelude to the election, the police recently mopped up arms to curtail the proliferation of illegal arms.
Mr Oyebade, therefore, warned that the carrying of arms by persons, groups, or outfits by whatever name would not be allowed.
“We want to sound a note of warning to would-be miscreants and other political thugs who might be holding clandestine, diurnal or nocturnal meetings to foment trouble with the motive to disrupt the election and scuttle the democratic process to desist from such act as the arm of the law will certainly catch up with them,” Mr Oyebade added.
The DIG also disclosed that as from midnight on Friday, the restriction of movement would commence till the same time on Saturday, warning that no one is allowed to wear any cloth, emblem, or colour signifying any political party to the polling units on Saturday.
Mr Oyebade added, “No person is allowed to move around with security personnel around polling units. Everyone is enjoined to vote and return to their respective houses or remain peacefully within the approved parameters of the polling centres.”