More security personnel drafted to Niger Delta states for Saturday elections


Ime Akpan

Ahead of the March 9 governorship and state houses of assembly polls, the acting inspector general of police, Mr. Mohammed Adamu said there will be increased security presence in the Niger Delta states of Bayelsa, Delta, River, Bayelsa as well as some other volatile areas in the country.

Speaking yesterday after a closed-door meeting of security chiefs with President Muhammadu Buhari held in Abuja, Adamu said the Niger Delta region would be watched while additional personnel would be deployed.

The inspector general warned ballot box snatchers to desist from the act vowing that the security agencies had resolved to deal ruthlessly with anyone who will attempt to disrupt a peaceful and credible electoral process.

“We are all aware of the fact that we just concluded the presidential and national assembly elections and we want to congratulate Nigerians for the peaceful conduct of the elections. We are prepared now for the governorship and the houses of assembly elections in the country.

“We will like every Nigerian to come out to cast his or her vote. The security arrangement we provided during the presidential elections is being enhanced to provide an enabling environment for everybody.

“We will again advise those that will want to disrupt the process to have a rethink because during the presidential election, we had some few challenges here and there. We will not allow a repeat of the challenges. We are taking more security measures to address the challenges that we noticed.

“So, thuggery is not allowed, ballot-snatching is not allowed, disruption of the election process is not allowed. We, the security personnel, have resolved to deal ruthlessly with anybody that attempts to disrupt the elections.

“We expect that in every state, the conduct of the election will be respected. We expect that electoral materials will not be tempered with, we expect that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) officials will do their work without being compromised.

“At the same time, the security personnel are to perform their duties without being compromised,” he said.

In addition, Adamu disclosed that some arrests were made in connection with the disruption of the February 23 elections in some parts of the country saying the suspects would be prosecuted on completion of investigations.

On efforts put in place to stop killings and disruption of the elections especially in Bayelsa State, he said the security agencies had increased their personnel in Bayelsa and states and other Niger Delta states.

“Virtually, in Bayelsa and other states within that zone that we have taken notice of the fact that people there are prone to violence, we have increased the number of security personnel that have been posted there.

“Also, we have increased intelligent outfit that has been posted there so as to help us identify those people that are trying to cause problem so that we can take them out of the environment before they cause the problem. Therefore, there is increase in security personnel.”

The security meeting was attended by the Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Gabriel Olonisakin; Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Yusuf Buratai; Chief of Naval Staff, Ibok-Ete Ibas; and the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadiq Abubakar.

The National Security Adviser, Maj. Gen. Babagana Monguno (retd.); Director-General, National Intelligence Agency; Ahmed Rufai-Abubakar; Director-General, Department of State Services; Yusuf Magaji-Bichi, minister of interior, Lt. Gen. Abdulrahman Dambazau (retd.), and the minister of defence, Brig. Gen. Mansur Dan-Ali (retd.) were also in attendance.


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