Ahead of the Bayelsa, Imo and Kogi states’ governorship election scheduled for November 11, 2023, the inspector-general of police (IGP) Kayode Egbetokun has ordered the distribution of additional 220 operational vehicles in the affected states.
The vehicles and other essentials distributed included water cannons, Armored Personnel Carriers (APC)s, helmets, bullet proof vests, tear gas canisters, among others to the three states to intensify security arrangements for the elections.
Earlier, the IGP had organised training for the police officers who are involved in the election security management for the forthcoming elections and sought the approval of the federal government for the payment of their allowances and other necessary support to boost the morale of the officers during the operations.
The police also disclosed that they were prepared for the elections, and that adequate deployment had been done in all areas.
Force public relations officer, ACP Olumuyiwa Adejobi said, “We are ready and have prepared well for the elections in Kogi, Imo and Bayelsa states. Adequate deployments have been done to all areas, including the protection of Independent National Electoral Commission officials, accredited observers, media, materials and facilities. We have made arrangements for necessary escorts during the elections.
“The IGP has ordered additional allocation of logistics, equipment and personnel to the states and other states that will support the concerned states. The IGP was in Imo to address stakeholders on Thursday. We are good to go.”
Egbetokun also urged all stakeholders in the three states to embrace peace, uphold the sanctity of the rule of law and be law-abiding in their endeavours before, during and after the elections as the police and other security agencies have been placed on alert to avert any unruly acts capable of disrupting the elections in any of the states.
The governorship elections in Kogi, Imo and Bayelsa have been marred by several violence, which led to avoidable loss of life and property.
During the last governorship election in the state held in 2019, former governor of Bayelsa State, Seriake Dickson, said 22 persons were killed.
He said 10 out of them were members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) while the 12 other residents were “beheaded, mutilated and actually butchered” before they were thrown into the sea.
Also, in Kogi State, no fewer than four persons were reported killed during the 2019 election.
Governor Hope Uzodimma of Imo State and his counterpart in Bayelsa State, Douye Diri, are seeking re-election, while Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State is rounding off his second term and is supporting the All Progressives Congress candidate, Usman Ododo, whom he anointed among the aspirants to win the party’s ticket.