The Deputy Inspector General of Police in Charge of Elections in the North Central Geo-Political Zone, Mr. Godwin Nwobodo on Friday disclosed that a total of 11 Police Commissioners have been drafted to Benue state to conduct the Governorship and State House of Assembly elections.
He said the number comprised of 5 Commissioners, 4 Deputy Commissioners and 2 Assistant Commissioners of Police who by law are all Police Commissioners, would oversee elections in the three senatorial districts of the state and specific local government areas identified as flash-points.
In a statement in the state capital Makurdi Friday, DIG Nwobodo said elections would be supervised by the Police commissioners in selected local government areas including Agatu, Logo, Gwer-West, Gwer East, Katsina-Ala, Okpokwu, Ukum and Guma.
He however debunked claims by the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, that the heavy deployment which was targeted at PDP strongholds was intended to aid the rigging of the polls by the All Progressives Congress, APC, insisting that the deployment was to ensure peaceful conduct of the polls.
“I do not know and cannot fathom how any group or any political party can convince themselves that those who voted for them in a particular election will not vote against them in another one. It does not follow,” he said.
“I am not saying they will vote against them, what I’m saying in essence is that we cannot rely on guess work that this is my area they use to vote for me that is why they are deploying security to that area.
“Supposing those people are deployed to protect their votes, to ensure that their votes are adequately protected, have they also imagined that as well?
“There is always two sides to a coin, if you think that security is being deployed to rig against you, why don’t you also think that security is being deployed so that my votes will be protected. Does it not follow, is it not logical?
“Credible election enthrones good governance and good governance serves the greater good for the citizens. Election should therefore not be a do or die affair.
“As security agencies, we have a responsibility to police the rules and regulations set out by the election managers-Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC. These set of rules/regulations are provided for in the Nigerian Constitution, the Electoral Act, INEC Guidelines / Regulations and all other extant laws.
“All stakeholders are therefore advised to familiarize themselves with the rules and regulations governing the conduct of tomorrow’s election so as to avoid infractions with the law.”
Emmanuel Jime of the APC is considered the main challenger of Governor Samuel Ortom who is seeking a second-term in office.