Posted by News Express | 25 November 2016 | 2,068 times
On Wednesday, September 28, 2016, a peaceful election was conducted in Edo State, without any violence. This was due to the security arrangement put in place by the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Ibrahim K. Idris.
Recall that in his determination to ensure that the rescheduled Edo governorship election was conducted in a peaceful and secured atmosphere, the Inspector General of Police had ordered the galvanisation of the reviewed operation plan for the election that held throughout the state on September 28
As the Ondo State governorship election is scheduled to hold on the 26th of November, 2016, I am aware that the IGP has directed that a robust and elaborate security arrangement be implemented in Ondo State, to ensure peaceful, credible, free and fair election. I must commend the IGP for deploying a Deputy Inspector-General of Police to be assisted by an Assistant Inspector-General of Police and three Commissioners of Police, to co-ordinate the security operations and supervise the deployment of security personnel for the elections, throughout the 3,009 polling units, 203 wards and 18 LGAs of the state.
Just like the Edo governorship election, the IGP has approved deployment of additional 26,000 conventional police personnel (five policemen per polling unit), 2,000 Mobile Police Force (PMF), 10 cells of Counter-terrorism Unit, Special Protection Unit, Anti-bomb Squad (EOD), Marine Police, conventional policemen, the Armament Units, personnel from FCIID and FIIB, the Sniffer dogs section and mounted troops to Ondo State, so as to ensure adequate security and safety of life and property before, during and after the elections. Just like the Edo situation, the IGP, on 22nd November, attended a Peace Accord meeting of all the political parties, their flag-bearers, INEC officials, election observers and other stakeholders, before the date of the election in Akure, the state capital, aimed at guaranteeing a peaceful and credible election.
The IGP has done his part. I am using this medium to call on police personnel deployed for the elections to be polite and civil in the discharge of their duties and other responsibilities. They should provide adequate security for the electorates, INEC staff, election materials, election observers, and other individuals and bodies that have statutory roles in the conduct of the elections, at the polling booths, collation centres and INEC offices throughout the period of the election. The electoral process should be well secured; eligible voters should be allowed to exercise their rights freely without intimidation; election materials and officials should be well protected. Above all, they should ensure that no single soul will be lost during the election.
In the same manner, protection of life and property in Ondo State should be duly secured while any protest that might want to arise should be put under control by the Nigeria Police, with support from other sister security agencies on ground. Police officers deployed for the election should conduct themselves in the best professional manner, by maintaining apolitical disposition and strictly stand by the rules of engagement. Policemen deployed to Ondo State should discharge their statutory functions effectively, without bias and in accordance with the principles of democratic policing.
On a final note, all the participating political parties, community leaders, parents and guardians should warn and prevail on their members, supporters, and children to be law-abiding, and not allow themselves to be used to cause havoc during the elections. Nigerians should be assured of adequate security in our electoral process as the foundation for a rancour-free election, as exemplified in the Edo State governorship poll.
•Kehinde, Abuja-based Journalist/Public Affairs Analyst, can be reached via email@example.com. Photo shows IGP Idris.
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