Ahead of Saturday’s governorship election in Kogi State, there is heavy presence of police personnel in Lokoja, the state capital.
The heavy security presence has caused traffic gridlock at strategic areas of Lokoja, including Nagaja road and Marine road which hosts the Kogi office of the Independent National Electoral Commission.
Many of the officers were seen Thursday afternoon with their travelling bags, awaiting deployment to other parts of the state.
Earlier on Thursday, the Inspector General of Police, Solomon Arase, announced the deployment of the Deputy Inspector General of Police in charge of operations at Force headquarters, Sotonye Wakama, to supervise security arrangements in the state.
According to a statement by Force Public Relations Officer, Olabisi Kolawole, the police boss also deployed 4,969 personnel of the Police Mobile Force.
“This is part of measures aimed at ensuring a proper coordination of security operations to guarantee a hitch-free election and credible electioneering process in the forthcoming Kogi State governorship election,” the statement said.
According to the statement, Mr. Wakama “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,” the statement added.
It stated further that they would 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,” it further added.
In the statement, Mr. Arase reiterated his earlier call on the citizens, especially the governorship candidates, party leaders and other concerned stakeholders to conduct themselves with regards for the electoral laws.
He warned troublemakers and persons not directly connected with the smooth conduct of the election to stay out of the electoral process.
He maintained that the tough security arrangements in place would “leave no room for any untoward behaviour”.
The police boss added “that 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 justice”.