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Polls: Police to deploy sniffer dogs, horses to protect INEC offices, collation centres, control crowd

Molly Kilete
The police force headquarters in Abuja, has said it has concluded plans to deploy dogs and horses as part of its security arrangement to protect state offices of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and collation centres across the country.
The deployment of the animals, the force said was to help in crowd control, given the huge number of people expected at the various centres where election duties would take place.
Commissioner of Police in charge of  Force Animal Branch(FAB), Aishatu Abubakar, who made this known said that dogs and horses are more efficient when it comes to crowd control operations.
Abubakar, at a meeting with officers in charge of FAB on their roles before, during and after the election, said: “We want to use dogs to control the crowd because they are very effective. When you are confronted with issues of the crowd, ten to 20 policemen cannot do what one or two dogs will do. Once a dog stands, people will behave themselves.
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“Also for the mounted troop, a man on a horse can easily control the crowd. So, the animals will be deployed to INEC headquarters and collation centres because that is where we have a large number of crowds.
“We also have veterinary doctors to support and ensure that all the animals are safe.
The CP, while noting that the deployment of the animals was not targeted at scaring people from performing their civic duty, however, appealed for understanding from the public saying the dogs and horses would be there to protect lives and property.
“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 it will come close.
“We expect the public to understand that the dogs and horses will be there to protect lives and property.”
The CP, who said arrangement had reached advanced stage to better reposition the department for efficient service delivery, added that the branch was set to distribute about 500 bags of K9 food, 1,000 different categories of K9 operational gears, over 200 veterinary clinics equipment ranging from examination tables, stretcher, surgical, ambulatory and necropsy kits, 2,500 variety of veterinary drugs and consumables to all its formations and units across the country.
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