4,556 security personnel for Assembly election in Ondo-
By Micheal Ofulue
No fewer than 4,556 security personnel drawn from the Nigeria Police Force (NPF), Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC),and the Nigeria Prisons Service (NPS) have been deployed to provide security for the Saturday’s State House of Assembly election in Ondo State.
Statistics made available to The Hope Metro showed that the police deployed 3,000 officers and men, NSCDC 1,500 while Prisons Service had 56 officers, bringing the total personnel to 4,565, to man various polling units across the 18 local government areas of the state.
Speaking with The Hope Metro about the security arrangement for the election, the State Police Public Relations Officer, Mr Femi Joseph, disclosed that the command maintained the same figures it deployed during the just concluded presidential and National Assembly elections.
He explained that the police personnel deployed for electios duties comprises both conventional and mobile police force and other tactical squad.
They are Special Ant-Robbery Squad (SARS), Special Ant-Cultism Squad (SACS), Special Anti-kidnapping Squad (SAKS), Ant-bomb unit, monitoring unit among others. They will all be on ground to forestall any possible breakdown of law and order during the voting exercise, he said.
Joseph stated that every polling unit would be manned by at least, two policemen with other sister agency including all necessary security that would make the elections credible, free and fair, just as he warned people of questionable characters to steer clear off voting points or be ready to face the consequences of their actions.
He told The Hope Metro that the Police Commissioner had held meeting with all Area Commanders and Divisional police officers DPOs and urged them to be proactive and monitor their personnel on duty so as to ensure that they do what is expected of them.
The PPRO, who enjoined politicians to play the game according to the rules, said the police will not hesitate to deal ruthlessly with anybody irrespective of how highly placed that may want to cause trouble either by using thugs to disrupt the elections process or attempts to breach the public peace before,during and after the exercise.
Similarly, the State Public Relations Officer of NSCDC, Mr Samuel Oladapo said an Assistant Commandant General (ACG) from the Force Headquarters in Abuja and a Commandant from Zone ‘F’ Abeokuta have been deployed to Ondo state to oversee the security situation during the elections.
He said the two senior officers have already arrived in the state adding that apart from the 1,500 personnels for the elections, various special investigation and intelligence units, monitoring units and patrol team are equally on ground to ensure a hitch free poll .
He expressed confidence that with the number of security personnel that will be out for the elections ,people with dubious characters will have a rethink or face the full weight of the law.
Also speaking with The Hope Metro, the Public Relations Officer of the Nigeria Prisons Service, NPS, in the state, Barrister Babatunde Ogundare said the figure deployed were to compliment the efforts of other security agencies for the elections.
According to him, the figure would have been more than that, but some personnel will be in their various duty posts to ensure that there is no security lapses in the agency department. Some senior officers will also be on ground to monitor those posted out for elections duties.
However, efforts to get the figure of Nigeria Immigrations Service in the state proved abortive as the State Public Relations Officer, Mr Oyela (CSI), promised to get back to us as soon as he ascertains the actual number of his men deployed for election duty.