No fewer than 14,000 officers and men of the Nigeria Police would be deployed to Bayelsa state during the December 5 governorship election, the Inspector General of Police (IG), Solomon Arase has said.
The IG, who disclosed this in Yenagoa, on Tuesday while briefing officers and men at the state police command ahead of the poll, added that the officers would be complemented by a Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG) and three commissioners of police.
This came as the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) said it had released the outstanding Permanent Voters’ Cards (PVCs) from the recent continuous voters’ registration exercise to the INEC office in Bayelsa State.
The IG further expressed the readiness of the police in providing adequate security, before, during and after the poll.
He said, “We are very ready for the state election. We did a similar thing two weeks ago in Kogi State and we have decided to replicate it again here in Bayelsa State.
“We are going to deploy approximately 14,000 officers and men of the force in all the eight local government areas. We are going to dominate the security space and have aerial surveillance.
“We are going to lock down the waterways. A DIG would supervise the election with three additional commissioners and about 15 units of police mobile force. So, we are very ready”.
The IG also refuted speculations that some political parties planned to use fake policemen during the poll.
He said, “The use of fake policemen will not be possible because we have a unique identity for each policeman we are going to deploy for the election.
“So, anybody who has invested in trying to get uniforms or get in fake policemen, I think that is bad investment. It cannot work,” Arase added.
“We are agents who enforce the law. We are not the one to conduct the election. The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is the body to conduct the election.
“The police job is very simple-to ensure that we put in place robust security architecture that will enable people to move and vote fairly and freely in the election.
“So, I do not know about anybody influencing anybody, certainly not under my watch.
“I came with the INEC chairman. We want to have an interactive session with stakeholders in the state to reassure them that we are prepared to conduct a free and fair election.
“I am also here to talk to my officers and men on what I expect them to do as law enforcement agents during the election.”
The police boss warned the officers and men against any unprofessional conduct that would drag the name of the federal government and that of the police in the mud.