By Desmond Ejibas
Rivers Police Command on Monday said it has commenced the deployment of personnel to strategic areas and centres for election results collation scheduled to begin in the state on Tuesday.
The Command’s Spokesman, DSP Nnamdi Omoni, made this known in a statement issued in Port Harcourt on Monday.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had on March 21, announced the resumption of collation and announcement of results in the state between April 2 and April 5.
According to Omoni, the decision to deploy personnel was reached following a meeting between the state Police Commissioner and the Inter-Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security (ICCES).
“ICCES agreed to put in place adequate security measures to ensure that the entire process is transparent and seamlessly carried out.
“Part of the security measures that were agreed include massive deployment of police personnel and other sister security agencies to the venue and the outer perimeter of collation centres.
Omoni said that Waterlines and GRA junction axis of Port Harcourt/Aba Express Road, would be shut to traffic during the duration of the exercise.
He said that both lanes of the road would be closed to motorists, advising road users to divert to Olu Obansanjo and Polo Club Roads.
“The police note with concern the temporary hardship the closure will cause. We appeal to the public to show understanding and bear with us.
“The closure is done in the overall interest of the public, as well as to provide a conducive atmosphere for the collation.
“Politicians, candidates and indeed unauthorised persons, are warned to stay clear from the collation centres,” he said.
The police spokesperson warned that any individual or group seen undermining the process would be arrested and prosecuted in accordance with the Electoral Act.
Omoni solicited for the cooperation and support of the public towards a successful conduct of the exercise.