By Chinwe Imo-Eze Onwosi
The Federal Government has deployed a helicopter to Ebonyi to provide aerial surveillance during Saturday’s elections.
Gov. Dave Umahi told newsmen in Abakaliki on Friday that the deployment of the helicopter was to complement security measures already put in place in the state.
The governor said that the helicopter would be flying at low altitudes and urged residents not to panic.
He assured that the exercise was to deter insurgents or bandits from disrupting the election in any part of Ebonyi.
“We got a surprise package from our security chiefs in Abuja aimed at having free, fair and credible elections in Ebonyi.
“The aircraft has already landed at our Ebonyi International Airport.
“Its mission is to secure our lives and to bolster the confidence of voters so that threats by bandits will not see the light of day.
“I want Ebonyi people to know that the aircraft will be flying at low altitude and they should not be afraid.
“It is there to protect us, evaluate flashpoints and any envisaged threats and deal with the matter decisively.
“Ebonyi people should not entertain any fears if they see the craft flying within communities and villages; this is morale boosting to me and to our people.
“Our people should feel free against threats by bandits because the state has been properly secured,’’ he said.
Umahi said that the election security council meeting held earlier in the day provided a platform for security chiefs to evaluate security challenges.
“I am happy with the level of arrangements the security agencies have made.
“They have reported no challenges; flashpoints from where bandits were operating have been taken over and they are fully in control of those areas.
“I have also directed the security agencies to demobilise anybody who poses a security threat to the election and to arrest anyone who is not supposed to carry a gun, but found with a gun.
“I urge our people to go out tomorrow and vote for the candidates of their choice without any fear of attack or violence,’’ the governor said.
Umahi charged security agencies to ensure that every security threat to Saturday’s presidential and National Assembly elections were nipped in the bud