The Anambra State Police Command has assured the residents of tight security before, during and after the November 6 governorship election in the state.
Police Commissioner Eworo Echeng gave the assurance yesterday at a town hall meeting with youths.
The meeting was at the instance of a peace advocacy group, Vote Not Fight Campaign, in collaboration with the Catch Them Young Community Initiative (CATYCOI) and the 2Face Idibia Foundation with support from the National Democratic Institute and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
Echeng, who was represented by the Officer in Charge of Safer Highway Patrol, Isah Kolo, said voters had no reason to panic as there would be massive deployment of police personnel across the 21 local government areas of the state.
“The personnel to be posted in strategic positions far away from the polling units in order not to scare away voters as well as provide cover for conventional policemen since they don’t go to polling units with their rifles,” he said.
The police chief warned miscreants who may want to foment troubles to desist and give peace a chance.
He also urged voters to give police credible information which he assured would be treated with utmost confidentiality.
“Considering the prevailing security situation in the state, with the presence of the security agencies, voters will have confidence of adequate protection to come out to exercise their franchise.
“Security is not only for the police but everybody’s responsibility. People should provide information to the police because information itself is security. It will be treated with utmost confidentiality,” Echeng said.
CATYCOI Executive Director Nonso Orakwe said the campaign was meant to pass the message to youths, politicians and other stakeholders that elections are not do-or-die affairs.
“The process of electing leaders in Nigeria has been plagued by a myriad of problems, ranging from voter intimidation and suppression, to harassment and outright violence.
“This campaign is meant to change the ugly trend, especially as Anambra prepares for the governorship election, to bring lasting peace in our political space.
“We urge our youths to prevent electoral violence by upholding democratic principles before, during and after the election because there is a connection between violence-free elections, peace and development,” he said.
NDI Programme Officer Ms. Tracy Keshi said youth engagement was critical to ensuring a violence-free election.
According to her, the campaign will help the youth to shun violence and speak against the menace in elections.
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