ABUJA- The Inspector-General of Police, Mr Suleiman Abba, said more personnel will be deployed to Rivers State and three other states across the country to prevent violence during the April 11 elections.
Abba disclosed this while fielding questions from newsmen before a closed door meeting with senior officers on Tuesday in Abuja, but did not name the other three states.
He said the purpose of the meeting was to assess achievement made by the force in the conduct of the March 28 elections and improve on it for the April 11 polls.
‘The focus of this meeting includes strengthening our deployment in Rivers and other states where we believe we really need to strengthen the deployment to prevent lawlessness.
‘It is not only for Rivers, there are also two or three other states where we need to strengthen our deployment with senior officers,’’ the I-G said.
Abba confirmed that arrests had been made in connection with the political crisis in the state but did not give the number.
“There are also suspects identified with incidents in Rivers, including those that were committed far back in the period of the campaigns.
“We have identified culprits or those we suspect to be involved or being the mastermind of these offences.
“We have not made them (culprits) public because we are using all other avenues, our intelligence and operatives are out there to arrest them.
“Where we do not get them immediately perhaps after a little, we will exhaust other avenues including declaring them wanted,’’ he said.
The I-G disclosed that 124 incidents (crimes) were recorded in the March 28 Presidential/National Assembly elections nationwide.
He said a number of suspects in connection with those incidents had been charged to court, while others that needed inputs from the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) were still pending.
“We will continue to make arrests but the most important thing is to focus mainly on preventing the commission of crime, whether general or crime relating to electoral offences,’’ Abba said.
On alleged threat issued by Oba of Lagos against the Igbos, the I-G said that he also read it in the media.
“On the issue of Oba of Lagos making statement about who the electorate or voters should vote for in the next election, I must tell you I read it in the media.
“I tried all my best to verify whether that statement was made and so far what I have been able to gather is the fact that the Oba himself denied it.
“If he denied it, who am I to say that he made it,’’ he said.