- Charges officers to be apolitical
- PDP urges police, INECto be neutral
Onyebuchi Ezigbo and Dele Ogbodo in Abuja
The Inspector General of Police (IG), Mr. Ibrahim Idris, has directed the Edo State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Samuel Adegbuyi, to enforce the restriction of all vehicular movements from 12 midnight today to 6p.m. tomorrow, during which the state governorship election would have been concluded.
He however said the restriction did not cover vehicles and motorists involved in essential duties, but must be properly identified and screened.
In a statement signed by the Force Public Relations Officer, Donald Awunah, said the IG is determined to ensure that the rescheduled gubernatorial election is conducted in an atmosphere of peace and security.
A statement added that Idris has also ordered the activation of the revised operation plan for the governorship election slated for tomorrow.
He said: “The revised election security operation plan will guarantee free, fair and credible election, secure electoral process, enable eligible voters exercise their franchise freely and voluntary, protection of election materials and officials, ensure adequate security before, during and after the election.
“In the same vein, protection of lives and property in the entire state will be of paramount importance. However, the police will be firm and decisive in dealing with any infractions of the law, actions and activities that constitute breach of peace and contrary to public order.”
For avoidance of doubt, the IG said the police would mobilise and deploy adequate resources and personnel to prosecute the election conclusively.
He said: “To this end, in order to achieve the expected outcome of credible election acceptable to all stakeholders, the police will deploy25,000.00 conventional police officers and tactical teams which include: Police Mobile Force (PMF), Counter Terrorism Unit, Explosive Ordinance Disposal .Special Protection Unit, Force Animal BranchPolice Air wing (Aerial patro) Marine Police Unit, Riverine Patrol.
“This is in addition to the deployment of other sister agencies to ensure a robust security template for the election. Also, police helicopters, gun boats, Armoured Personnel Carriers (APCs), police dogs and technical platforms will be deployed.”
The IG enjoined all police officers and officers of all sister security agencies deployed for the election to conduct themselves in the best professional manner, maintaining apolitical disposition and strictly adhering to the rules of engagement.
He warned them to refrain from any action that will jeopardise the existing peace and security in the state, adding that the Nigeria Police Force on its part will discharge its statutory functions effectively, unbiased and in accordance to the principles of democratic policing.
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) led by Senator Ahmed Makarfi, has asked the security agencies and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to ensure fair play during Wednesday’s governorship election.
The party urged voters in Edo State to ‘take the future’ and vote for its flag-bearers, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu and Hon. John Yakubu as governor and deputy governor in tomorrow’s re-scheduled gubernatorial election in the state.
The PDP is re-iterating its earlier call for the people of the state to avoid the mistake of 2015 general elections and urged them to vote for the right candidate that will secure their future and rescue Edo State from high taxation, poverty, stagnation and hunger.
The party, in a statement signed by the Head of Publicity Division, Chinwe I. Nnorom, on behalf of thePDP National Publicity Secretary, Dayo Adeyeye, said the party is sure of victory in the forthcoming election in the state.
“Our party and standard bearers in the state are well prepared for the gubernatorial election coming up on September 28, 2016. Our message to the good people of the state is to ‘Take the Future’ and vote for Ize-Iyamu as the new governor for the state. We are also calling on them to avoid voting in the ‘recession team’ which will be a repeat of the mistake of 2015 general elections.”
The party advised INEC to maintain their independence and desist from actions that may jeopardise the election.
“We do hope that the electoral umpire this time is ready for the re-scheduled election and will do all things necessary towards conducting a free, fair, credible and conclusive election without allowing any advantage to the government in power as this will portend danger for our fledgling democracy.”
Regarding the rumour of the All Progressives Congress (APC) importing people from other states with cloned voters’ cards to manipulate the electoral process, the PDP said: “It’s the duty of the IG to direct the Commissioner of police in the state to remain vigilant and should not allow the force to be manipulated by politicians.
“We are again very worried of the news that the APC has imported machineries from neighboring states to disrupt the Edo State gubernatorial election. This ugly trend must stop and the state Commissioner of Police and other security agencies should rise to the occasion to forestall any breakdown of law and order during the election. “Finally, the PDP called on all its members, supporters and voters in Edo State to come out en-mass and ensure victory for Ize-Iyamu and John Yakubu to take the people to a greater future.”