Ahead of the governorship election in Kogi tomorrow, the Inspector-General of Police, IGP Solomon E. Arase has redeployed the state Commissioner of Police, CP Emmanuel Ojukwu, back to Force Headquarters, Abuja pending the conclusion of the polls. The IG has also barred vehicular movements in and out of the state with effect from 6.00am to 6.00pm tomorrow.
In a similar move to forestall irregularities, the IGP also barred security details from accompanying their principals and politicians to polling booths and collation centres during the election.
Consequently, the IGP advised travellers to use alternate routes to their destinations where necessary within the hours of this partial restriction of movement that this order is in force.
IGP Arase said the measure became necessary considering the geo-location of Kogi State, which shares boundaries with 10 different states.
The order was contained in a statement issued by the Force Public Relations Officer, ACP Olabisi Kolawole who explained that the IGP ordered a partial restriction of vehicular movement within the boundaries of Kogi State with effect from 6.00am to 6.00pm on Saturday, 21st November, 2015.
The statement noted that all states contiguous to Kogi will be heavily policed, while motorists and other travellers plying the affected routes will be subjected to rigorous search by security agents on stop-and-search duty.
The Force spokeswoman stressed that the partial restriction of movement order is informed by the exigencies of overriding security considerations.
She said the Force is not unmindful of the citizens’ right to freedom of movement, but this measure is aimed at forestalling tactics by faceless groups to undermine the electoral process.
While reassuring Nigerian citizens, especially Kogi State indigenes of the readiness of the Police Force and other security agencies to provide an effective security architecture towards ensuring a hitch-free election, the IGP reiterated his earlier call on the citizens, especially the gubernatorial candidates, party chieftains, opinion moulders and other relevant stakeholders, to conduct themselves within extant electoral laws.
The Police boss warned that troublemakers and persons not directly connected with the smooth conduct of the election should stay out of the electoral process as the tough security arrangements in place will leave no room for any untoward behaviour, while any person, no matter his or her status, who attempts to test the will of the Police and other security agents during the exercise will be isolated, apprehended and brought to deserved justice.
ACP Kolawole said the IGP, assured all law-abiding electorate of a secure and enabling environment to exercise their franchise, adding that only security personnel specially assigned for election duties must be seen within and around the election designated places.
Already, the IGP has deployed DIG Sotonye Leroy Wakama, the Deputy Inspector-General of Police in charge of Department of Operations, Force Headquarters, Abuja, to supervise security arrangements and will be assisted by three Commissioners of Police and three Assistant Commissioners of Police during the election.
The three CPs deployed to Kogi State will be specifically saddled with the responsibility of supervising security arrangements in the three senatorial districts of the state. They are: CP Isaac Eke, CP Peter Ogunyanwo and CP Sam Okaula.
They will be assisted by an Assistant Commissioner of Police each, in their respective senatorial districts.
“In addition, 4,969 personnel of the Police Mobile Force, PMF drawn from different squadrons across the country have been deployed to strategic places, to complement the 11,000 conventional Police manpower, and other security agents already deployed for the election
All these, according to ACP Kolawole, are part of measures aimed at ensuring a proper coordination of security operations and thus guaranteeing a hitch-free election, and credible electioneering process in the forthcoming Kogi State governorship election.

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