By Isatou Jawara
The Inspector General of Police, Yankuba Sonko, has said some 3000 police officers are to be deployed all over the country to cover 1402 polling stations during Thursday’s election.
The IGP was speaking at a briefing organised by the IEC on security preparations ahead of the National Assembly election.
“Election periods are very sensitive especially for the security because when peace loving individuals are going about their decent politics, some other unscrupulous individuals may want to take advantage of the situation and cause other forms of crime,” Sonko said. He however admitted that some minor problems were reported at two small villages, Sarreh Birom where the UDP were prevented from holding a meeting allegedly by the village head, and at Sinchu Samba Jawo where a UDP meeting was interrupted allegedly by supporters of GDC.
“Similar cases were reported in Kanifing. At Tallinding, some APRC militants and two UDP militants sustained injuries. The police have arrested six suspects in connection to this incident and they are all released on bail while investigations into the matter are ongoing. At Faji Kunda and Manjai Kunda, verbal abuses were reported between the supporters of UDP and APRC,” said the Inspector General who added that generally everywhere is peaceful.
He said he and his men are confident that the election would pass peacefully. “This is possible because of massive sensitization programmes being done by all the stakeholders on election matters on maintaining law and order throughout the electoral process over the past twelve months,” IGP said.
He concluded that security in all regions has been beefed up including the key installations and there will be adequate security at various polling stations countrywide. “I am pleased to inform you that the IEC staff would be also adequately protected by the security throughout the electoral process,” he assured the IEC chairman.