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July 16, 2018

Army to deploy 1,900 personnel, 6 drones, 6 gunboats

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A total of 1,900 military personnel would participate in the governorship election rescheduled for Wednesday, September 28.
In addition, two drones are to be deployed  in each of the three senatorial districts and six gunboats for the riverine areas.
The Commander, 4 Brigade of the Nigerian Army, Brigadier-General Benbela Raji disclosed this yesterday evening while briefing journalists shortly after a combined security meeting with the Independent National Electoral Commission(INEC) and other sister agencies in Benin.
He explained that the military personnel would not be found at either the voting or collation centres but would cordon off adjoining routes to the polling units to ensure that untoward elements, criminals or people who want to cause confusion are not allowed into those areas primarily.
“‎The Nigerian Army is there to play a supportive role to the security agencies. Should there be issues or security challenges beyond the control of the security agencies, the military will, of course, be activated to take care of such situations‎”‎, he said.
Also speaking, the Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris announced that the enforcement of the restriction of movement in and out of the state would ‎commence at 1am on Wednesday.
Idris, who spoke through the Deputy Inspector General of Police in charge of operations, Joshak Habila said the restriction would include a lock down of all highways within the state and inroads, adding that the police would also conduct “semi-temporary checks” on vehicles and persons plying such roads.
“I want members of the public to know that at 1am on September 28, the highways, the in-ways and the out roads, roads that are leading into Edo and those ones going out, will be locked down.
“There will be semi-temporary checks on vehicles and personalities using the roads”‎, the IGP explained, disclosing that the crime-mapping of flash points had been done to ensure adequate policing and arrest of electoral offenders.
He ‎also explained that in addition to the provision of 25,000 personnel and patrol vehicles for the poll, the air wing of the police had also deployed helicopters to provide aerial surveillance in the three senatorial districts, just as he announced that‎ four gunboats would also be deployed in the riverine areas.
“ As I as speak to you, we have a large number of men from the special anti-robbery squad, ‎men from the police mobile force, tactical operations squad and men from the force intelligence bureau, who are here.
“They have their vehicles. From now, they will go into the three senatorial districts and carry out aggressive patrol and look out for would-be troublemakers, some of whom we have captured their behaviour when we did what we call crime analysis.
“We have shared information with other security agencies and we are ready to make sure that we do not allow anybody to truncate the system, “the police boss said.
Reacting to allegations by the PDP of connivance of the police with the All Progressives Congress (APC) to interfere with the credibility of the election, the DIG said: “I have never heard and it can never happen. ‎I do not think that anybody has any plan. Of course, we are not the people conducting the election.
“We are responsible for the security and safety of materials and everybody that is concerned. It is the INEC that conducts the election. So, we do not have any opportunity to tamper with the process.‎”
Meanwhile, the Edo State Government has exempted banks and corporate organisations from the public holiday declared for Tuesday, September 27.
The State Government had declared a public holiday for Tuesday, September 27 and Wednesday, September 28, 2016.
The public holiday was declared to enable voters in the state travel to their various locations and exercise their voting rights on Wednesday, September 28.
But in a statement last night, the state government explained that banks and corporate organisations have now been exempted from the public holiday on Tuesday, September 27 in order not to slow down the economy of the state.
“The general public should, however, note that the public holiday on Wednesday, September 28 affects everyone in the state as there is a restriction of movement on the election day in accordance with the Electoral Act,” the statement said.


News Credit: Sun News Online

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