In order to guarantee peaceful conduct of the November 6 Anambra governorship election, the Inspector-General of Police, Usman Alkali-Baba, will lead a team of about 35,000 policemen to the state, THE WHISTLER has learnt.
Alkali-Baba had earlier announced that the police force will mobilize and deploy 34,587 officers to the state following the conduct of “election security threat analysis” by the leadership of the force.
Operational assets to also be deployed include three police helicopters and technical capabilities of the Police Airwing as well as the Force Marine and the Force Animal Branch.
A source at the Louis Edet House headquarters of the police told our correspondent that the IGP will arrive Anambra State two days before the election (November 4).
Already, the officers to be deployed have started arriving in Abuja for onward posting to Anambra.
Our correspondent sighted no fewer than 100 police officers arriving at the force headquarters during a visit on Thursday.
The 35,000 officers are to be drawn from 27 states, including Anambra, Delta, Ondo, Oyo, Ogun, Osun, Ekiti, Lagos, Edo, Imo, Abia, Rivers, Bayelsa, Kogi, Akwa Ibom, Benue, Niger, Nasarawa, Enugu, Ebonyi, Cross River, Kano, Kwara, Plateau, Bauchi and Taraba.
The officers are expected to be briefed at the force headquarters on November 3, at 9 am and 4 pm, respectively.
It is expected that deployment of all operatives will be concluded by November 4, THE WHISTLER.
Our correspondent further gathered that the police will carry out an operation tagged “show of force” on November 4 and November 5 in the three senatorial districts of the state.
At the ministerial briefing of the Presidential Communications Team held at the presidential villa, Abuja, on Thursday, Alkali-Baba had expressed concern that the mass deployment of security personnel for the election may discourage the turnout of voters.
The IGP, however, said the deployment was necessary to ward off hoodlums who may want to disrupt the electoral process.
He said the officers that would be deployed to polling units will not carry arms, but noted that “you also need to put officers on standby, on patrol that would check the would-be persons that can carry arms against the state.”
The IGP said, “We are trying to educate and enlighten people that our presence is for the benefit of everybody, that our presence is for the benefit of ensuring that they come out and exercise their franchise of voting who they want.”
Similarly, the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) will deploy 2,000 personnel including its Arms Squad Unit, Counter-Terrorism Unit, and the Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Explosives Unit to Anambra for the election.