By Dele Ogbodo and Maryann Abi in Abuja
The Acting Inspector General of Police, Mr. Ibrahim Idris, on Friday, directed the Commissioners of Police in Imo and Kogi States, to ensure proper coordination of security operations and deployment of personnel to ensure hitch free polls at the Senatorial and State Houses of Assemblies re-run elections slated for today.
In a statement signed by the Force PRO, DCP Donald Awunah, in Abuja, said the Commissioners should provide adequate security for staff of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), election materials, the electorates and observers.
The statement said: “As part of the measures aimed at guaranteeing a hitch-free and credible electioneering process during the re-run elections, the Inspector-General of Police has graciously approved the deployment of additional Police mobile force personnel, counter terrorism units and conventional Policemen from States contiguous to Imo and Kogi States.”
He said the personnel should be deployed to all identifiable flash, vulnerable points and other strategic locations within the senatorial districts where the re-run elections will take place.
The IGP warned stakeholders to be law abiding and to desist from any act capable of causing disturbance of the peace or disruption of the electoral process, adding that the full weight of the law would be applied on anyone found violating the electoral act or indulging in other act capable of causing violence during the election.
The statement added: “The Inspector General of Police, therefore wish to assure the electorates and other law abiding citizens of the two States of adequate security and safety before, during and after the elections.”
He warned security details to refrain from accompanying their principals and politicians to polling booths and collation centres during the election, as only security personnel specially assigned for election duties must be seen within and around the election venues.
Meanwhile, the Chairman House Committee, on Police Affairs, Mr. Haliru Dauda Jika, in a meeting with the IGP assured that the National Assembly would provide the platform for effective and efficient management of the Force.
He expressed worries that the committee was inundated with complaints from officers and men of the Force.
The IGP however assured that he would implement international best practices in policing while restructuring the Nigeria Police Force to be more accountable and responsive Police Force.
He said: “In order to gain trust from the public and restore integrity in the Force, the IGP promised to restructure X-squad whose mandate will be to curb corruption within and outside the Force.