Ahead of the gubernatorial elections in Edo and Ondo States respectively, the Inspector General of Police, Muhammad Adamu, has cautioned politicians and their supporters in both states to play by rules and eschew violence before, during and after the forthcoming polls.
As stated, the police force was putting strategies together towards mitigating possible violence associated with elections in the country, saying that the police remain committed to protecting the ballot’s sanctity across the two states.
He said the call had become imperative after the police force reviewed the Election Security Threat Assessment Reports submitted by the Commissioners of police from both states during a meeting held last Tuesday.
Worried by the reports, the IGP, through a statement by the Force spokesman, DCP Frank Mba, ordered commissioners of police in the two states to rejig their preparations for the elections to accommodate and address the threats and emerging trends as contained in the security report.
The police boss warned politicians and their supporters in both states to conduct themselves properly, play by the rules, and steer-clear of tendencies capable of undermining the electoral process.
“The Election Security Threat Analysis reveals amongst other indicators: arming and movement of political thugs, use of inciting statements during political campaigns, high likelihood of violence and possible cross attack by political opponents, misinformation/disinformation aimed at heating-up of the polity and deliberate efforts at delegitimizing government institutions involved in the electoral processes.
“He noted that the force leadership is evolving customized security architecture to protect the people and ensure hitch-free elections. The IGP, however, warns politicians and their supporters in Edo and Ondo that the Force will not hesitate to bring the full weight of the law on anyone or group, irrespective of status that may want to sabotage the security arrangement being emplaced for the elections,” the statement read.
However, the IGP assured that the police would be neutral, apolitical, and would work assiduously with all stakeholders in ensuring a level playing ground for all in the elections.