BARELY two days to the local elections in Rivers State, the Nigeria Police said it had deployed 15,000 personnel for the exercise holding on Saturday.
The State Police Commissioner, Mr. Zaki Ahmed, who disclosed this on Thursday while briefing newsmen in Port Harcourt, explained that the heavy presence of policemen was aimed at ensuring a violent-free election.
Ahmed pointed out that the Command had drawn an operation order that would make troublemakers stay away from the council polls.
“As a Command, we have braced up to the challenge of the elections and accordingly put in place adequate security measures to ensure that the local government elections are free, fair, credible and devoid of any violence.
“Consequently, we have drawn up our operations order which has captured all deployments including those of other security agencies. In all, about fifteen thousand (15,000) security personnel drawn from the police and all the agencies will be deployed for the exercise,” the state CP stressed.
Explaining that restriction orders had been put in place to for a peaceful exercise across the state, Ahmed maintained that this was achieved in consultation with heads of other security outfits.
He said, “Total restriction of movement of persons, vehicles, both land, and air, between the hours of 7am – 4pm. Again, important personalities and politicians are barred from going to any voting centre with security details.
“All entry and exit points will remain closed within the stipulated time and all identified flashpoints will be manned by security personnel to prevent any security breach.”
The state police boss, however, cautioned that those who disobeyed the restriction orders would be arrested and prosecuted.