The Inspector-General of Police, Solomon Arase, has deployed DIG Sotonye Leroy Wakama, the Deputy Inspector-General of Police in charge of Department of Operations, Force Headquarters, Abuja, to supervise security arrangements for the November 21 governorship election in Kogi State.
Wakama will be assisted by three Commissioners of Police and three Assistant Commissioners of Police during the election.
For the sake of the election, the State Commissioner of Police, CP Emmanuel Ojukwu, has been redeployed to Force Headquarters, Abuja, pending the conclusion of the election.
The three CPs deployed to Kogi State will be specifically saddled with the responsibility of supervising security arrangements in the three Senatorial Districts of the state. They are: CP Isaac Eke, CP Peter Ogunyanwo and CP Sam Okaula.
They will be assisted by an Assistant Commissioner of Police each in their respective senatorial districts.
In addition, 4,969 personnel of the Police Mobile Force drawn from different squadrons across the country have been deployed to strategic places to complement the 11,000 conventional Police manpower and other security agents already deployed for the election.
Considering the geo-location of Kogi State, sharing boundaries with 10 different states, Arase has ordered a partial restriction of vehicular movement within the boundaries of Kogi State from 6am to 6pm on November 21, 2015.
All states contiguous to Kogi State will be heavily policed, while motorists and other travellers plying the affected routes will be subjected to rigorous search by security agents on stop-and-search duty.
The Nigeria Police Force notes that the partial restriction of movement order is informed by the exigencies of overriding security considerations.
Noting that the Force is not unmindful of the citizens’ right to freedom of movement, this measure, the police hierarchy said, is aimed at forestalling tactics by faceless groups to undermine the electoral process.
It therefore suggested that travellers should take advantage of alternate routes to their destinations where necessary within the hours of this partial restriction of movement.
While reassuring Nigerian citizens, especially Kogi State indigenes, of the readiness of the Police Force and other security agencies to emplace an effective security architecture towards ensuring a hitch-free election, the IGP reiterated his earlier call on the citizens, especially the gubernatorial candidates, party chieftains, opinion moulders and other relevant stakeholders, to conduct themselves within the extant electoral laws.
The IG warned that troublemakers and persons not directly connected with the smooth conduct of the election should stay out of the electoral process as the tough security arrangements in place will leave no room for any untoward behaviour, while any person, no matter his or her status, who attempts to test the will of the Police and other security agents during the exercise will be isolated, apprehended and brought to deserved justice.
Arase, while assuring all law-abiding electorates of a secure and enabling environment to exercise their franchise, warns all security details to refrain from accompanying their principals and politicians to polling booths and collation centres during the election, as only security personnel specially assigned for election duties must be seen within and around the election designated places.