Emma Okonji and Nosa Alekhuogie
The Police have assured voters of adequate security in the forthcoming elections in Edo and Ondo states.
The Force Public Relations Officer, Mr. Frank Mba, a deputy commissioner of police, who gave the assurance, revealed that the Inspector General of Police (IG), Mohammed Adamu would be adopting collaborative approach in dealing with the issues of policing the electorate during the elections.
Mba who spoke yesterday on ARISE NEWS Channel, a sister broadcast arm of THISDAY Newspapers, said: “The Nigeria Police Force (NPF) is fully prepared for the coming elections in Edo and Ondo states. We acknowledge the fact that security in any given election is a process thing that runs till after the elections. We are also working with other security agencies as we can’t do it alone. For the first time, the inter-agency consultative committee on elections security has been able to produce a unified code of conduct that will guide the operations of the different agencies that will be policing the electoral system.
“We have also been able to develop a uniform modus for training security personnel who will be deployed in the election. There is a deep and strong sense of collaboration and partnership amongst the security agencies.”
Speaking further, Mba noted that he was aware that there are clandestine movements of arms and political thugs by politicians across all the divides.
“We are not working with the Civil Society groups alone; we are also working with other citizens who are on ground. We are deploying both technical intelligence platform as well as human intelligence platform to actually monitor activities.”
“We want to re-assure Nigerians especially those in Edo and Ondo states that the police would be deploying some of its best hands in the forthcoming elections. We have enough resources in terms of manpower and logistics to be able to dominate the space, we will provide a level playing field for everyone to exercise his/ her franchise during the election,” he said.
Giving reasons for violence in elections, Mba said: “The problem with electoral violence is that apart from its short term effect, its immediate effect such as loss of lives, and property, has a way of enthroning unpopular candidates and when that happens, the candidate becomes very reckless because they are not responsible and loyal to the people . They are only loyal to their political godfathers and those who sponsored the violence that brought them to power.
All these bring about bad governance and bad governance itself brings about unemployment, poverty, insecurity and all kinds of negative implications.”
He however said “as a people, we must ensure we break the cycle of violence, since it is not about policing alone that could end political violence”.