The Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Ibrahim K. Idris, has approved the deployment of 25,000 conventional police officers for the rescheduled Edo State gubernatorial election, holding on Wednesday. This was announced in a statement issued by the Force Headquarters on Monday.
Signed by Don N. Awunah, a Deputy Commissioner of Police and Force Public Relations Officer, the statement said the deployment is in line with the activation of the revised operation plan for the election. The plan entails the deployment of tactical teams, which will be made up of officers of the Police Mobile Force, Counter-Terrorism Unit, Explosive Ordinance Disposal, Special Protection Unit, Force Animal Branch, Police Air Wing (Aerial Patrol) and Marine Police Unit (Riverine Patrol).
The IGP also directed the Commissioner of Police in Edo State to enforce the restriction of vehicular movement from midnight on Tuesday to 6 p.m. on Wednesday, except for vehicles involved in essential duties, which must be properly identified.
The revised security operation plan, explained the statement, will guarantee a free, fair and credible election, secure the electoral process, enable eligible voters to exercise their franchise freely and voluntary, protect election materials and officials, and ensure adequate security before, during and after the election.
“The Police will be firm and decisive in dealing with any infractions of the law, actions and activities that constitute a breach of peace contrary to public order.
“For avoidance of doubt, the Police will mobilize and deploy adequate resources and personnel to prosecute the Edo Governorship election conclusively,” the statement said.
The large-scale police deployment, added the statement, will be in addition to the deployment of other security agencies as well as police helicopters, gun boats, armored personnel carriers, police dogs and technical platforms.
The IGP also advised Police officers and those of sister security agencies deployed for the election to conduct themselves professionally by being apolitical and adhering to the rules of engagement.
He similarly counseled the people of Edo State to be law abiding, assuring that the Police will discharge their statutory functions in accordance with the principles of democratic policing.