Monday, December 17, 2018 12:44 am
Police Command in Sokoto state on Sunday, dismissed as baseless, Peoples Democratic Party’s (PDP) allegations against the Force, of partisanship in arrests and prosecution of people during political campaigns.
Commissioner of Police in the state, Mr Murtala Mani, made this known through the Police Public Relations Officer in the command, DSP Cordelia Nwawe, while addressing the media in Sokoto.
“The Nigerian Police in Sokoto is not a partisan organization; irrespective of who you are, if we find out that you have done anything wrong, it will not matter whether you are PDP, PPP or APC.
“Our job is to make sure that people go about their lawful normal duties, especially this electioneering period; all parties must play by the rules.
“The 2010 Electoral Act, as appended, is quite clear about electioneering and for us being partisan, we are quite clear with electioneering.
“We will make sure that everybody is given a level playing ground in Sokoto,” Mani said.
He said that the police would not be cowed by the allegation because it was doing its job.
“The job that we do is to make sure that the state is safe irrespective of political affiliations; we are not interested in any party’s business,” he said.
The PDP had in a news conference earlier, alleged that police used its forces to suppress opposition through incessant arrest and detention of its supporters, which it said had become alarming.
“Police are turned into tools of suppression, persecution and instilling fear in the people which has contravened fairness, equity and justice promised by President Muhammadu Buhari.
“Imagine the Police coming all the way from Abuja to Sokoto with a mission for illegal apprehension of our members whose cases were transferred to Abuja without charging them for committing any offence after being incarcerated for a long time.
“PDP has lost confidence and trust in the Nigerian police, because the indicators show that they have become partisan and partial by dancing to the tune of the ruling party” he alleged.
According to him, Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) operate in commando style arresting and detaining PDP supporters for two weeks without trial.
“We remind the Inspector-General that party loyalists will remain firm to ensure justice and fairness without fear of any intimidation.
“We will use legal means to fight for our rights of freedom of association, political expression and movement and no amount of intimidation and harassment will deter us.
“We are aware that special teams were sent to Sokoto to whisk away our supporters,” Hausawa said.
He alleged that PDP supporters were being robbed and attacked daily by sponsored miscreants covered by some notables in the state, and that the police were not arresting them.
In his reaction, APC Spokesman in the state, Alhaji Bello Danchadi, said that the party would not join issues with PDP on security matters as the police was a statutory organization with specific mandate.
Danchadi said that the police had excellent record of professionalism and non-partisanship in cases of disputes between individuals or political parties.
“APC deems it fit and proper to allow the Nigerian Police to speak for itself.
“As for Sen. Wamakko, we are not surprised by PDP’s discomfort. He has always been their major concern because wherever they go in the state people are chanting ‘Sai ALU’ slogan,” Danchadi said.
He said that APC and its supporters were peace-loving and law-abiding, adding that the recent tour by PDP and negative public responses they encountered from people had worsened their desperation. (