The Commissioner of Police in Edo State, Johnson Kokumo, says the deployment of mobile policemen to Okpella, Estako East Local Government Area of the state, is to contain political violence.
The CP made the clarification in a telephone interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Benin on Thursday.
Kokumo said “the deployment is for generally security.”
Since the deployment of the mobile policemen, both the All Progressives Party and the Peoples Democratic Party have been trading words on the development.
While the APC has raised the alarm over the stationing of the policemen in a state government official’s residence, the PDP has dismissed it, saying that it was a normal routine police exercise.
The Chairman of the Edo APC Media Campaign Council, John Mayaki, had described the deployment as a strange development that caused apprehension in the town.
According to him, the residents have expressed worries over planned violent intimidation of the people ahead of the September 19 governorship election.
On his part, the Special Adviser to Governor Godwin Osagie on Media and Communication Strategy, Crusoe Osagie, said the deployment was not out of form.
Osagie said: “With just a month to the gubernatorial poll in Edo State, security agencies are stepping up their activities across the state.
“This should not be misconstrued by anyone.
The CP, however, said: “We have a detachment of Police Mobile Force across the state.
“The deployment is to contain political violence and check inter-border movements of criminals wanting to make incursion into Edo State from Kogi axis.
“It is part of police strategy to deploy PMF as proactive measure to contain political violence and insecurity.
“The issue of where they were initially stationed has been addressed.
“On arrival at Okpella, they needed an immediate accommodation and stayed in a private residence.
“I took exception to that instead of a police station or police property.
“It was unacceptable because police operational base must be from a police property or premises.
“The issue has been resolved and as I speak with you, they are staying at Okpella Divisional Headquarters.”