SP Geoffrey Ogbonna, the Police Public Relations Officer of the Abia command, said that no fewer than 1,000 officers and men had been deployed in Aba, the commercial hub of the state, ahead of Tuesday’s visit by President Muhammadu Buhari.
Ogbonna disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria ( NAN ) in Umuahia on Monday, while speaking on the command’s level or preparedness for the president’s visit .
He said that the police personnel would be assigned to strategic locations in the city to provide adequate security and ensure a hitch-free visit by the president.
He said that there would be restriction of vehicular movement on the routes mapped out for the movement of the president’s motorcade, beginning from about 7am to 2pm.
Similarly, the Abia command of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps also deployed at least 250 operatives in Aba to join forces with other security agencies to maintain law and order in the city during the president’s visit.
The Commandant of the organisation, Mr Nnamdi Nwannukwu, said this in an interview with NAN, adding that the NSCDC operatives would be posted to line up the identified routes.
Nwannukwu said that men of the command would be mobilised essentially for crowd control. According to him, “our personnel will be part of the human shield to ensure that the crowd did not hamper the free-flow of the president’s entourage on the mapped out routes.”
He said: “We have made a lot of preparations together with our other sister-security agencies to ensure a smooth presidential visit to Aba.
“All the Service Chiefs met today to tidy up our arrangements for the visit and by about 5 am on Tuesday, we shall move round all the slated routes to make sure that our plan is intact.”
He said that specific strategic measures were also put in place to contain any group, especially the proscribed Independent People of Biafra (IPOB), that may want to cause trouble.”
“There will be effective surveillance of the whole area as part of the proactive measures to checkmate IPOB and ensure that the group did not engage in any act that could cause a breach of the peace during the president’s stay,” Nwannukwu said.
NAN learnt that the routes included Faulk’s Road, leading to the Ariaria Market, where the president would inaugurate the Rural Electrification Project.
He would move from the market to the Palace of the Traditional Ruler of Aba, Eze Isaac Ikonne,
for a courtesy call and thereafter proceed to the Enyimba International Stadium, venue of the APC presidential rally.
Meanwhile, the PPRO said that Ariaria and other markets within the precincts of the stadium would be closed during the president’s visit.
He also appealed to motorists, who use the mapped out routes to divert to other routes, adding that security operatives would be on ground to guide them to the appropriate diversions.
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