Over 1,000 police officials will be deployed for the supplementary election in Anambra State scheduled to hold in Ihiala Local Government Area on Tuesday, the State Commissioner of Police, Echeng Echeng, has said.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had suspended the collation of results for the Anambra State governorship election after elections did not hold in Ihiala on Saturday.
Speaking on the police’s preparedness for Tuesday’s election on Channels Television’s Politics Today, Echeng said all hands are on deck.
“We are deploying more than a thousand to the polling booths. This makes an average of 3, 4, they are going to be complemented by other security agencies,” the commissioner said.
“All the tactical teams, Police Mobile Force (PMF) teams, we have pushed enough into Ihiala because we want to make sure that at every point that we anticipate a problem, we dominate the area. For whoever wants to come out tomorrow will have his own story to tell.”
As part of measures to avoid glitches in the election, the police boss said the Force would impose curfew across Ihiala Local Government Area to avoid mayhem.
According to him, the restriction of movement would commence by 11:55 pm on Monday and end at 11:55 pm on Tuesday.
He stated, “The firm standard applies to Ihiala, we are going to shut down from 11:55 pm today and open up at 11:55 pm tomorrow.
“There were reasons why that shut down had to be. It had to take care of entry and exit points, people not being allowed to come in and cause any problem. So we are going to do what exactly we did with the whole state, this time around restricted to Ihiala alone.”
The police commissioner also reacted to the claim by INEC that inadequate security prevented electoral officials from conducting polls in Ihiala.
While insisting that there was enough presence of security officials in the local council, Echeng noted that additional operatives have already been deployed to the affected local government.
When asked what makes Ihiala so much of a hotbed that is scary to people, he didn’t directly reply question.
“INEC should answer that question, not the police. I still say emphatically that we are on the ground with other security agencies and as far as we are concerned, elections were supposed to be (held) there. So if INEC said there was a threat, they should answer that question,” he said.