By Jonathan Ugbal
The Nigerian Police Force has deployed no fewer than 6,000 police officers for the February 26, 2022, legislative by-elections in Cross River State.
The Ogoja/Yala federal constituency and the Akpabuyo State constituency seats are up for grabs. Nine political parties fielded candidates for the former, while only three nominated candidates for the latter.
“5,500 police officers have been deployed for the elections, with 500 MOPOL (Mobile Police or Police Mobile Force – PMF),” SP Irene Ugbo told this reporter at the Ogoja Area Command Headquarters.
She said the men are deployed to maintain law and order and to secure the electorates.
The Police was however mute on the deployment statistics, even though more are expected in Ogoja and Yala Local Government Areas.
The officers were deployed from across the country with the MOPOL operatives deployed from PMF 69 Toto in Nassarawa State, PMF 75 Ogoja and PMF 11 Calabar in Cross River States. Some were also deployed from the Force Headquarters in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory.
These exclude the over 35 strike force team from the Anti Cultism and Kidnapping Squad led by CSP Abdul Awodi who came in from Calabar yesterday and are decked in a fearful attire. Also, operatives from the Operation Puff Adder unit among others are on the ground.
This reporter observed that the Police deployed what is said to be 1 Bell 412EP helicopter with registration 5N-ANS produced in 2011 by Bell Helicopter Canada, at least two Armored Personnel Carriers, three duty trucks and several other vehicles.
The helicopter could be seen circling the Ogoja and Yala aerial zone earlier on Friday.
Meanwhile, the Commissioner of Police, Aminu Alhassan arrived Ogoja at about 1:50PM on Friday and proceeded to address the top commanders. As at press time, he departed for Yala to inspect the security architecture on the ground, Police sources said.
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