The Nigeria Police Force will deploy no fewer than 14,000 personnel for Saturday’s Bayelsa State governorship election, Inspector General Solomon Arase has disclosed in Yenagoa, the capital.
He was speaking during an interactive session with officers of the State Police Command ahead of the event.
Mr. Arase said the policemen will complement the efforts of the Deputy Inspector General of Police and the Assistant Inspector General of Police from Zones 5 and 6, as well as two Commissioners of Police that had already been deployed to supervise the election.
He expressed confidence in the preparedness of the police for the election.
"We are very ready for the state election,” he stated. “We did a similar thing two weeks ago in Kogi State and we have decided to replicate it again here in Bayelsa State".
The police chief also disclosed that waterway, road, and creek transportation in all 18 local councils of the state will be paralyzed for the duration of the election.
According to him, the police would ensure robust security for the distribution of election and voting materials in collaboration with personnel of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) without fear of compromise.
Mr. Arase expressed alarm at the rumored usage of thugs dressed in fake police uniforms by various political parties participating in the election.
"Such an action by any political party is a waste as the police have initiated a special identification code for proper identification of personnel during the poll and those who invested their time and money to sew uniforms and recruit fake policemen should consider it a bad investment", he said.
He also dismissed insinuation that the officers would be used as an instrument to rig the poll noting that the police are apolitical as their main job is to enforce the law.
Mr. Arase read the riot act to the officers and men participating in the election against any unprofessional conduct that would drag the name of the force through the mud.