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Police deploy 14,250 officers for Saturday polls in Akwa Ibom, Cross River

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[FILES] Nigeria Police

To forestall crisis and possible casualties as experienced during last weekend’s postponement of elections in Akwa Ibom and Cross River states, the Police have deployed 14,250 officers to the states for next Saturday’s polls.

Akwa Ibom State Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Odiko Macdon, who confirmed the burning of seven vehicles, three motorcycles and destruction of two buses, disclosed that 10 suspects were arrested, while two locally made pistols were recovered from the hoodlums.

He said Indian hemp, machetes and other dangerous items were recovered from bandits in the state, adding that investigation was still ongoing, while over 8,000 policemen and other security agents have been deployed across the state.

Also, in Bendeghe Ekiem, Etung Local Government Area of Cross River State, Chairman of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and three other persons were reportedly killed.

The PPRO, Ms. Irene Ugbo said, “Two cult rival groups, who are also PDP and APC supporters clashed in Etung, during which three persons died.

“A total of 6,250 officers have been deployed for the elections. Apart from Etung youths, those who tried to cause violence before the election at Ugep, were arrested. The area is now calm and we are ready for the elections,” she said.

However, to ensure adequate coverage and real-time security situation analysis of the elections, CLEEN Foundation’s Election Security Support Centre (ESSC) will be observing the conduct of security agents deployed on election duty for the February 23 and March 9 elections.

Its Executive Director, Benson Olugbuo, in a statement yesterday noted that CLEEN analysis will dwell on security situation of the elections and especially police officers’ conduct.

He added that the Centre would deploy different technologies that would enable it broadcast live incidents from election field, as they happen.

Meanwhile, Corps Marshal of the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC), Boboye Oyeyemi, has cautioned its officers to restrict themselves to rules of their engagement and desist from serving politicians.

Oyeyemi, who was represented by Zonal Commanding Officer, RS9, Pullin Osadebamwen, gave the warning yesterday in Owerri, Imo State, during a training programme for officials on their roles in the general elections.

While urging them to always defend the country’s integrity in the discharge of their duties, he asked them to restrict themselves to Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC)’s specifications during the polls.


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