Residents of Awka, the Anambra State capital have expressed mixed feelings following the deployment of heavy security to the state ahead of Nov. 6 governorship election.
The Nigerian Police Force (NPF) had earlier announced that it would deploy 34,000 personnel outside those serving in the state for the election.
Apart from the police, the military, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, Nigeria Immigration Service and other paramilitary agencies deployed personnel for the election.
Mr Victor Okoye, a resident of Awka, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday that massive deployment of security has given people confidence to participate in the election.
“Before now, there was apprehension that anybody who come out for the election would be attacked, but with huge presence of security men, there is hope that we are protected”, he said.
Okoye said: “With enough security, I can go out to cast my vote and return to my house.”
Another resident, Chinazo Ayika, said that massive deployment of security men in the area was good, but appealed to the authorities to advise the personnel to stick to their rules of engagement.
He said: “I witnessed at Aroma area of Awka yesterday evening how one of the vehicles conveying
some security personnel drove against the traffic and the security men jumped out harassing other motorists.
“I doubt if I will go out on the election day because I do not want anybody to wound me.
Also speaking, Okey Iloegbu, an Awka-based social commentator said there was the need for security agencies participating in the election to identify flashpoints and ensure they beam their searchlights in such areas.
He said that incidences of security recorded in the area in recent time took the form of guerrilla attacks, noting that keeping too many personnel in Awka alone might not be the best.
“We expect that security operatives will be deploy in the rural areas like in Awka so as to give the electorate enough confidence to participate in the election,” he said.