By ABIRHIRE THOMAS and BENEDICT OBANYAGBON Abuja
Six days to the governorship election in Ekiti State, all arrangements have been out in place by Nigerian Police Force Headquarters to ensure adequate security for the free, fair and credible process, Force Public Relations Officer CSP Olumuyiwa Adejobi has said.
Adejobi, in a statement with Ref No. CZ.5300/FPRD/FHQ/ABJ/VOL.4/139 dated 12th June, 2022, copy of which was obtained by The DEFENDER in Abuja in Sunday, said the Inspector General of Police, IGP Usman Alkali Baba, ordered the mobilization and deployment of adequate police personnel and Armoured Personnel Carriers (APCs) to handle provide security during the election.
The IGP also ordered technical capabilities of the Police Airwing, the Force Marine, Mounted Troops, K-9 Section, and other operational assets for the Ekiti State Gubernatorial Elections slated for 18th June, 2022.
This includes the deployment of selected seasoned Strategic Commanders from the rank of Assistant Commissioner of Police and above for effective supervision of security personnel and operations in the Election.
The IGP noted that the Deputy Inspector General of Police in charge of the Force Criminal Investigation Department (FCID), who is the supervisory DIG for the South West Geo-Political Zone, DIG Johnson Babatunde Kokumo, has been deployed to the state to coordinate security component for the election.
“DIG Kokumo is responsible for overseeing the implementation of the Operation Order evolved from the Election Security Threat Assessment, to ensure a peaceful and conducive environment devoid of violence and to guarantee law abiding citizens of secured freely perform their civic responsibilities without molestation or intimidation. DIG Kokumo will be assisted by four (4) Assistant Inspectors-General of Police (AIGs), three (3) Commissioners of Police (CPs), five (5) Deputy Commissioners of Police (DCPs) and eighteen (18) Assistant Commissioners of Police (ACPs). The Senior Officers are to coordinate human and other operational deployments in the three (3) Senatorial Districts, sixteen (16) Local Government Areas and the 2445 polling units in Ekiti State.
“The IGP noted that the Force has carried out these necessary operational deployments as part of actions aimed at creating a conducive and enabling environment that will guarantee the peaceful and proper conduct of the election in Ekiti State. The IGP further noted that the personnel, comprising conventional police officers, Police Mobile Force (PMF), Counter Terrorism Unit (CTU), Special Forces personnel, Explosives Ordinance Unit (EOD), Force Intelligence Bureau (FIB), INTERPOL, Special Protection Unit (SPU), Force Public Relations Department (FPRD), as well as Police Medical Teams, will be on ground to guarantee free, fair, credible and acceptable election. In addition, five (5) Armored Personnel Carriers for patrol as well as four (4) helicopters and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) for aerial surveillance amongst other unique operational capabilities.
“The IGP reassures the nation and the international community that the Force is adequately prepared for the Gubernatorial Election in Ekiti State which is scheduled to hold on June 18, 2022. He reiterates that the Force will do everything within its powers to work with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and all stakeholders to protect democratic values, provide level playing field for all political actors, ensure adequate protection of voters, INEC officials, equipment, accredited observers, both domestic and international, and other key players in Ekiti State.
“The IGP therefore admonishes the good people of Ekiti State to be law-abiding and comply with the restriction of movement order which will be announced by the Commissioner of Police as and when due. The IGP equally calls on the Good people of Ekiti State to come out en masse and exercise their franchise as adequate security has been emplaced by the Police and other security agencies to protect them before, during and after the election,” the Force PRO said.