Ahead of Saturday’s governorship elections in Osun State, the police has deployed 30 Armoured Personnel Vehicles (APV), 10 AP carriers, two helicopters and sniffer dogs to ensure a hitch-free exercise.
The police also said the security delegation for the election would be headed by a Deputy Inspector-General of Police (DIG) with the support of an Assistant Inspector-General (AIG) and eight Police Commissioners (CP).
Each of the eight Police Area Commands in the state will be manned by a CP, said Force Headquarters’ spokesman Jimoh Moshood, a Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP).
Moshood said the police would arrest and prosecute anyone found engaging in vote buying, selling before or during the election.
Listing the security arrangement for the election, he said: “The DIG will lead, implement and coordinate the security operations, and also supervise the deployment of all personnel of other security agencies under the Inter Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security (ICCES) for the election throughout the 3,764 polling units/voting points in the 332 wards and the 30 LGAs of the state.
“To ensure adequate security and safety of life and property before, during and after the election, the IG has graciously approved the deployment of adequate police personnel to Osun State. The personnel that were already trained and oriented on election security and electoral act on the responsibilities and functions expected of them, comprises the Police Mobile Force (PMF) Units, Counter Terrorism Unit (CTU), the Special Protection Unit (SPU), the Anti Bomb Squad (EOD), Conventional Policemen, the Armament Unit, personnel of FCIID, IGP Monitoring, IGP IRT teams, the sniffer dogs section and the Mounted Troop.
“Four unarmed policemen and two others from other security agencies will be on duty at each voting point throughout the state. The PMF headed by a very senior officer will provide security at the RAC, Super RAC and Collation centres.
“Two police patrol surveillance helicopters, 30 Armoured Personnel Carriers, 10 Armoured Personnel Vehicles and 300 police patrol vehicles are already deployed to cover the entire state including difficult terrains.
“Other security and safety agencies who are members of Inter-Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security (ICCES) in the State have also been posted to complement the Nigeria Police Force during the election.
“As part of additional measures to guarantee a peaceful and credible election, the IGP will on September 17, attend a stakeholders and peace accord meeting with INEC Chairman and the 48 political parties participating in the election and their flag bearers, INEC officials, election observers and other accredited stakeholders will also be in attendance in Osogbo, Osun State.
“Furthermore, police officers and personnel of other security and safety agencies deployed for the elections are under strict instructions to be polite and civil but firm in the discharge of their duties and other responsibilities.
“They are to provide adequate security for the electorates, INEC officials, movement of election materials, the accredited election observers/Monitors and other individuals and bodies that have statutory roles in the conduct of the election at the polling units, collation centres and INEC offices throughout the state.
“The Nigeria Police Force will not tolerate, condone, or allow vote buying and selling anywhere in Osun State before and during the election. The Force hereby warn all political parties and their flag bearers to prevail on their agents, members and supporters not to engage in buying and selling of votes which is in violation of the Electoral Act.
“The following phone numbers can be used by any member of the public who noticed any act of vote buying and selling anywhere in the state before and during the election: 08037025670, 08037160989, 08033415589, 08032451594.
“Security agents have been trained and briefed not to abdicate their duty, hesitate or contemplate the immediate arrest, detention and handover to the Police joint team specially setup by the IGP to deal decisively in accordance with the law, anybody or group, agents of political parties or their sponsor(s) who engages or attempt vote buying and selling during the election, inclusive the buyers and the sellers will not be spared.”