Usman Baba, the inspector-general of police (IGP), says the massive deployment of officers for the Anambra governorship election is for the benefit of the people.
Over the past months, violent attacks in the state and the sit-at-home order by the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) have cast a doubt on the possibility of the governorship election holding on November 6.
However, the federal government has insisted that the election must hold on the scheduled date.
Speaking on Thursday at a media briefing at the presidential villa, the IGP said the massive deployment of security personnel has advantages and disadvantages.
“As for the massive deployment, yes, it has its advantages and it has its disadvantages, and that is why knowing the fact that it has disadvantage — maybe militarising the electoral process — we try to involve public enlightenment,” he said.
“Our presence is to police the situation in two ways. While we are asking people to come out and vote, another group or other subversive elements are saying ‘don’t come. If you come, we’ll do this, we’ll do that.’
“So, there must be some level of assurance that we would give to these people to come out and that requires massive deployment of officers and men who would also ensure that the subversive elements do not take over the process.
“Those we are deploying to polling stations to ensure orderliness and checking of electoral malpractices, like vote buying, campaigning in the place and so forth, this does not even require carrying of arms.
“But you also need to put officers on standby, on patrol, that would check the would-be persons that can carry arms against the state.
“We are trying to educate and enlighten people that our presence is for the benefit of everybody; that our presence is for the benefit of ensuring that they come out and exercise their franchise of voting who they want.”