Yenagoa - The Bayelsa Police Command said on Thursday that it would deploy 4 130 men to ensure a hitch-free local government elections slated for March 23 in the state.
The Commissioner of Police in the state, Linus Omire, told News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Yenagoa that the command was ready to provide adequate security for the council polls.
“The Inspector-General of Police called me yesterday, and he said, “CP Omire, are you prepared for the elections?, “All I have deployed to you, I hope you have put things in place ?, my answer was yes.
“We are prepared for the elections; we have enough materials to work with, presently for the elections, the only area we have challenges is inadequate manpower but the Inspector-General of Police has ordered several units of the mobile police to come from other states.
“And they will be arriving today for the purpose of the elections, so, I am not expecting any challenge, even the Assistant Inspector -General of Police in-charge of the zone is also coming to assist professionally, to see that everything will go according to plan.
“We have a little over 5 000 men and out of this 5 000 men,I expect at least 3 500 men should be carrying arms; I am also expecting at least 10 units of the Mobile police.
“They will not be coming empty handed, they will come with guns, they will come with arms they will come with smoke because the areas where you don’t need arms by merely throwing smoke, trouble makers will run away.
“The whole essence is to protect lives and property during the period of the elections.”
NAN reports that the police commissioner had earlier held a stakeholders’ forum with security agencies, political parties, Bayelsa Independent Electoral Commission, as well as candidates of the various political parties.
At the meeting, Omire reiterated the resolve of the police to ensure a violence- free council election and urged the contestants to abide by the rules of the game.
Also speaking at the forum, a commissioner in the Bayelsa Independent Electoral Commission, Maria Owi, regretted that only two out of the 10 parties participating in the local government elections had submitted lists of their agents to the commission.
She said that of the over 6 000 personnel to be deployed for the elections, 200 were permanent staff of the commission.