Emmanuel Adeyemi, Lokoja
The Deputy Inspector – General of police in charge of operations, Mr Abdulmajib Alli
has said 25,000 police personnel would be deployed for the November 16 governorship election in Kogi State even as the chairman of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof Mahmood Yakubu expressed concern over the level of violence in the state.
The DIG who spoke yesterday in Lokoja at a one day interactive session with candidates of political parties and other critical stakeholders said the utterances and position of the political players were seriously heating the polity
The DIG said intelligence reports have revealed that some politicians have concluded plans to sew fake military and police uniforms for some hoodlums who would be used to terrorize innocent citizens and perpetrate electoral violence and stressed that the police was more than ready to combat them.
The DIG stressed that series of trainings have been given to his men to man the 2,548 polling units of 239 wards in the state, saying that anyone caught contravening the Electoral law no matter how highly placed would be dealt with.
He said the police were fully ready for the election and cautioned political parties not to hold rallies in same venue, the same day as it was capable of creating crisis.
The police boss also warned those who are planning to import thugs and arms from neighbouring states to disrupt the election to stop doing so as the long arm of the law will catch up with them.
Earlier, the INEC chairman, Prof Mahmood Yakubu raised concerns over the level of violence as currently experienced in the state and urged the political actors not to do anything that will impede the smooth running of the election or that may make the election inconclusive as was in the case in 2015.
Prof. Mahmood said the electoral umpires have put all necessary steps in place towards a peaceful, free , fair, credible and conclusive election, but that the actions of the political actors were not encouraging.
“Election materials are already with the CBN. Our only concerns are the political parties. We urged the political parties to reduce tension. INEC is not interested in any candidates, our interest is in a fair process. Political parties should try and reduce the level of tension and violence on ground”, he said.
Mahmood said the 2015 election saw two of their offices in Adavi and Bassa burnt down and stressed that the pointer to such development in 2015 was already showing.
“We urged the political players to guide their utterances duringz campaign, voting and collation of results. We also warned against voters’ inducement as occurred in time past. The inducement in time past was a sad occurrence as it happened both in cash and kinds. Inducement undermined democratic ethos and we shall enforce the law against voters inducement”, he said.