* Electoral materials ready says INEC
Chuks Okocha and Kingsley Nwezeh in Abuja
The Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Mohammed Adamu, yesterday warned politicians involved in the governorship elections in Edo and Ondo States scheduled for September 19 and October 10, 2020, respectively to desist from acts capable of undermining the elections.
He also read the riot act to the commanders of the 79 Mobile Police Squadrons across the country to be deployed for the election to operate strictly within the dictates of the Electoral Act, exhibit high-level of professionalism, be non-partisan, and embrace a civil orientation to the electorate.
This is coming as the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has disclosed that the materials for the two elections are ready, promising to provide a level- playing field for all the parties.
Addressing a meeting of Police Mobile Squadron Commanders at the Police Force Headquarters in Abuja, Adamu warned political gladiators in the two states to confine their activities within the dictates of the rule of law.
The IG said any attempt by any individual or group to undermine the electoral process on account of political interest would be identified and brought to justice.
“I strongly warn all political gladiators and the electorate in Edo and Ondo States to situate all their electioneering activities within the dictates of the rule of law.
“They should be guided by the reality that no political ambition of any individual is more critical than our common national interests,” he said.
Adamu further warned that “anyone, regardless of his or her political leaning, that attempts to test our will by threatening democratic values and national security on account of his or her electoral interests shall be promptly identified, isolated and brought to desired justice.”
He assured residents of Edo and Ondo States of the preparedness of the Nigerian Police, INEC and other security agencies to ensure the success of the forthcoming elections in the two states.
The IG also drew the attention of the squadron commanders to the failure to enforce compliance with extant force order and directives in relation to indiscriminate mounting of roadblocks, engagement of personnel on illegal duties and other professional excesses.
He said the new policing vision was anchored on community policing, which is driven by the principle of trust and partnership between the police and its citizens
Meanwhile, INEC has disclosed that the materials for the two elections are ready, promising to provide a level- playing field for all the parties.
The Chief Press Secretary (CPS), to the INEC Chairman, Mr. Rotimi Oyekanmi, made this known yesterday at a webinar organised in Abuja by the International Press Centre (IPC) and the Association of Communication Scholars and Professionals of Nigeria (ACSPN).
Oyekanmi emphasised that INEC is not interested in the outcome of the elections but the credibility of the process.
According to him, “It is the duty of INEC to provide a level playing field; we are not interested in the outcome of the elections but the credibility of the process, to ensure that materials get to the polling unit in good time.
“To be sure, INEC is ready for the election. Indeed, we are determined to conduct the election despite the current difficult circumstances. Out of the 14 activities listed in the timetable that we released in February, we have carried out 12. The only two left are the deadline for campaigns – 17th September and the election proper slated for 19th September.
“All the logistics needed for the election have been taken care of. The non-sensitive materials have been delivered to the 18 local government areas of Edo State. Our Electoral Officers, their Assistants and Supervisory Presiding Officers have been trained. Officers nominated by the various security agencies under the Inter-Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security (ICCES) have also been trained and their actions will be guided by the Code of Conduct and Rules of Engagement for Security Personnel on Electoral Duty. To that extent, regardless of the not-so-pleasant experiences Journalists might have experienced with security agents during elections in the past, they rest assured of good experience this time around.
“The new Policy on Conducting Elections in the Context of the COVID-19 Pandemic and our Regulations and Guidelines will also apply. A portal has been provided on the INEC website for journalists who wish to cover the Edo governorship election to apply online for accreditation.”