CHIEF of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Azubike Ihejirika has announced the deployment of 3,500 soldiers to Edo State ahead of the July 14 Governorship election in the State.
Assistant Inspector General of Police, (AIG) Zone 5, Hashimu Salihu Argungu, disclosed this press conference held in his office with the commanding officer, 4 Brigade of the Nigerian Army, Benin, Brigadier General Abel Obi Umahi in attendance.
Brig- Gen, Umahi at the meeting, said the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Azubike Ihejirika has approved the deployment of the soldiers to assist the police and other security personnel for the election.
He further disclosed that the Chief of Army Staff has also approved 60 Hilux buses and some army patrol trucks will be distributed in various local governments and constituencies in Edo State.
While advising the electorate not to be scared of the presence of the military personnel, the Brigade commander said the soldiers would be placed in different locations to monitor the election in all nooks and crannies of the state.
Similarly, the Assistant Inspector General of Police, Argungu, said, the police command was fully ready to engage any trouble maker or politician who will be out to derail the election process even as he warned that any person who attempts to hijack electoral materials would be treated as an enemy of the process and would be made to face the wrath of the law.
He also warned those warming up to serve as thugs during the election to discard their plans as any person who wears a uniform that is not recognised by the law enforcement agency will be treated as an armed robber and political thug, while those planning to use money to lure voters or electoral officers will also be treated as criminals.
While calling on the electorate to come out en-masse to cast their vote, the AIG who assured of adequate security said only those that are with their voter’s card would be allow to move to their voters’ centres during the election, as no vehicle will be allowed into the town, except through the by-pass.
He also assured journalists of safety, saying that no journalist with INEC accreditation would be harassed or intimidated by security personnel during the election, advising all journalists to ensure that they are accredited by INEC.
Also present at the briefing were the State Director of the SSS, the Federal Road Safety Commission and the Nigerian Security and Civic Defense Crops.