The Force Animal Branch (FAB) of the Nigeria Police has said that dogs and horses would be deployed to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) headquarters and collation centres during the election.
The animals are expected to help control the crowd that would be present at various locations where election duties would be taking place.
Speaking during a meeting with Officers in Charge (OCs) of FAB, on Monday in Abuja, on their roles during the election, the Commissioner of Police in charge of FAB Aishatu Abubakar said the dogs and horses were more efficient in crowd control operation.
“We want to use dogs to control crowd because they are very effective. When you are confronted with issues of crowd, ten to 20 policemen cannot do what one or two dogs will do.
“Once a dog stands, people will behave themselves. Also for the mounted troop, a man on a horse can easily control crowd. So, the animals will be deployed to INEC headquarters and collation centres because that is where we have large number of crowd. We also have veterinary doctors to support and ensure that all animals are safe.
“We expect understanding from members of the public. Our dogs are well trained and they won’t bite indiscriminately. If there is a problem or the dog is suspicious of somebody that is when they will come close. We expect the public to understand that the dogs and horses will be there to protect lives and property.”
According to her, “To better reposition the department for efficient service delivery, the branch will be distributing to all its formations across the counter about 500 bags of K9 food, 1000 different categories of K9 operational gears, over 200 veterinary clinics equipment ranging from examination tables, stretcher, surgical, ambulatory and necropsy kits, 2500 variety of veterinary drugs and consumables.
“The Mounted section of the department will be distributing over 600 bags of the horse feed, guinea corn, millet and 500 varieties of mounted operational gears.”
Also addressing the meeting Deputy Inspector General of Police in charge of Operations Abdulmajid Ali also urged the personnel of the department to conduct themselves well as they will be in public eye during the election.
While stating that the police personnel would be monitored, he cautioned them not to sell the food and other equipment that will be deployed.
“I want to remind you of the forthcoming election. Your performance will be monitored and we want to see how you will perform and how the items deployed will be utilized and not sold. All items deployed must be utilized and used justifiably because we want the election to be free and fair.”