The Inspector General of Police (IG), Mr Usman Alkali Baba, has said that the heavy deployment of security to Anambra for Saturday’s election is not meant to intimidate voters, but to reassure them.
Baba, who was speaking to stakeholders in the state during a meeting, said the security is designed to cover the three senatorial districts, 21 local government areas, 326 wards and 5,720 polling units across the state.
Baba said: “This massive deployment is not designed to intimidate the law-abiding as being insinuated in some quarters. On the contrary, it is to re-assure them of adequate protection by deterring misguided political elements, as well as non-state actors that might be bent on threatening the elections through acts of armed violence or other conducts that violate the provisions of the Electoral Act.
“It is to also serve as a strong warning that the government is determined to bring such subversive characters to justice should they advance their ignoble, undemocratic and unpatriotic intents. The overriding objective of our operational action plan is to ensure an environment that is peaceful enough to encourage the law-abiding people of Anambra State to exercise their electoral franchise.
“The message here is clear. For the political actors and electorate that are law abiding, they are fully assured of optimal security. However, for the destabilising elements and other deviants who despite all wise counsel are determined to deploy violence and other illegal means to advance their political interests or constitute a clog in the wheel of peaceful atmosphere for the election, they should be prepared for the consequences of their actions as they will be identified, isolated and decisively dealt with irrespective of their status, ideological inclinations or political affiliation.”
He assured all the people of Anambra State and the international community of their firm commitment to support the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in delivering a free, fair, credible and successful election in the state.
He also assured the people that the personnel of the Nigeria Police, as the lead agency in election security management, shall remain impartial, firm, accountable and professional in the exercise of their statutory duties as provided for in the Electoral Act and other enabling laws.