The Lagos State Police Command has deployed three helicopters, dozens of sniffer dogs, anti-bomb experts and thousands of armed policemen around Lagos State today as residents go to the polls to elect chairmen and councilors for the 20 local government area and 37 Local Council Development Areas.
Complementing the police to keep trouble makers in check are soldiers drawn from the army, navy and the air force.
The navy and marine police will be keeping an eye on the waterways and coastal areas while army and police personnel will patrol the highways and other strategic areas.
The Commanding Officer of the 9th Brigade -Gen. Adiku Attu and his NNS BEECROFT counterpart, Commodore Maurice Eno, said yesterday ahead of the election that every necessary arrangement had been made to ensure maximum security all through the election period.
Police Commissioner Fatai Owoseni help a separate security meeting with heads of other agencies including the military, Department of State Services (DSS), Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) and the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS), urging them to perfect all security arrangements.
He warned against the use of firearms near polling units by stakeholders, likening such action to a suicide mission. Owoseni gave the warning while candidates and party leaders signed an undertaking towards a violence-free exercise.
He said: “If you want to commit suicide, come out with your firearms. We have profiled you and have taken your biometrics. We have also interfaced with you personally and we will tell you what to expect from us.
“During this election, we don’t want political thuggery like we have witnessed in certain elections from different camps.”
He said some people have already been arrested by the State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department (SCIID), Yaba.
He warned politicians against sponsoring thugs,saying “If any of the hoodlums are traced back to you, it will jeopardise your chances. Talk to your supporters not to be overzealous because we will not hesitate to write an intelligence report to your party and the government.”
Chairman of the State Independent Electoral Commission (LASIEC), Justice Ayotunde Phillips pledged a level playing ground for all the parties,and asked them not to cast aspersion on the integrity of the commission.
“The Commission shall remain committed to its responsibilities of conducting free, fair and credible elections into the 57 Local Governments and Local Council Development Areas,” she told reporters at the Sabo, Yaba, headquarters of LASIEC yesterday.