Edo State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Hakeem Odumosu, has disclosed that no fewer than 15,000 security operatives would be deployed to monitor Saturday’s national election in the State.
He disclosed this on Thursday, shortly after a show of force by a combined team of security operatives through the main streets of Benin, the state capital.
Operatives of the police, army, air force, prisons, Department of State Services, civil defence, immigration and road safety, took part in the operation.
The CP disclosed that the operatives were to be deployed to all the nooks and crannies of the state, even as he assured all participating political parties of a level-playing field.
He said the police helicopter that hovered above the city and the fully armed operatives was to serve warned would-be trouble makers to and thugs to be ware as security operatives will be firm with them but fair to those who keep the peace.
He warned vote buyers not to bring money to polling units with the intention of bribing voters, noting that security personnel have been ordered to take decisive steps against the perpetrators of such illegal act.
He insisted that vote-buying was illegal and will not in any way be tolerated by security personnel deployed for the election.
The Edo state police boss said that the security personnel were fully prepared and ready for the polls, noting that deployment was already under way to every part of the state as all the polling units will be covered.
While insisting that offenders will be dealt with accordingly, he said that the police will not in any way harass law-abiding citizens, but will only be out to keep the peace and ensure that everybody, including politicians and even the security operatives, play according to the rule.
Odumosu said: “We will ensure a level playing field to all the political parties. Nobody will be unduly harassed. Everybody, including the security personnel will keep to the rule as they are not above the law. We will be strictly neutral and act in line with the Constitution.
“We have 15,000 security personnel of all the security agencies that will monitor the elections. Both INEC officials, sensitive and non sensitive materials will be protected. Be rest assure that we will protect everybody for Saturday elections during and after the polls.”