Rose Ejembi, Makurdi
The Nigeria Police Force says it has deployed 11 police commissioners comprising five commissioners, four deputy commissioners as well as two assistant commissioners of police to Benue State to man strategic Senatorial Districts and Local Government Areas identified as flashpoints in Saturday’s election.
In addition, the State Command has also deployed 7, 480 Police personnel with personnel from other security Agencies to cover the 23 Local Government Areas of the State made up of 3, 688 Polling Units.
Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG) in charge of elections in North Central Geopolitical zone, Godwin Nwobodo disclosed this to newsmen on Friday evening at the state Police headquarters in Makurdi.
He noted that aside the personnel that would be deployed to the Polling Units/Voting Points, Tactical Operations personnel have also been deployed to checkmate the activities of hoodlums and criminal elements who may be determined to truncate the electoral process.
“As the lead security agency in election security management, the Police shall continuously appreciate the supporting assistance being rendered by the military and other security agencies in ensuring a violence free, fair and credible election.
Nwobodo further expressed the conviction that the police is well prepared for the 2019 governorship and state house of assembly elections in Benue State.
Now that we have deployed more security, people should not be afraid so long as they conduct themselves in an appropriate manner. People should go and exercise their franchise and if they wish to wait behind to guard their votes, they should do it properly without disturbing anybody.
He listed some of the local government areas to be manned by the police commissioners to include Logo, Agatu, Gwer East, Gwer West, Katsina-Ala, Guma, Ukum and Okpokwu.
The DIG also dispelled rumor that the heavy deployments of security agencies to the state was to rig the elections in Favour of another party saying the deployment is to ensure free and fair elections.
“The security that have been deployed is to ensure free and fair elections in the state. Ours is to provide security and not to conduct elections. There is no way providing security during elections amounts too rigging.
“Now that we have deployed more security, people should not be afraid so long as they conduct themselves in an appropriate manner. People should go and exercise their franchise and if they wish to wait behind to guard their votes, they should do so properly without disturbing anybody,” Nwobodo advised.