The Nigeria Police Force has deployed 15,544 policemen to Rivers State for the February 16 presidential and National Assembly elections.

According to Usman Belel, Rivers State Commissioner of Police, the deployment is to beef up security and ensure smooth conduct of election in the state.

Rivers State is currently heated up due to the barring of the All Progressives Congress (APC) from fielding any candidate in the state.

The party members held a protest at the state office of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), on Thursday, and were dispersed by Police and Army with tear-gas canisters.

Addressing journalists in Port Harcourt, Belel said: “There will be radical departure from the past elections usually characterized by violence. Together, we shall get it right this time. Rivers State will outlive the elections.

“On our part, we promise to be neutral, apolitical and professional and to provide level-playing fields for all the political parties to exercise their franchise.”

Belel added that both land and water ways would be shut from 12midnight on Friday till 4pm on Saturday.

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