Sunday, August 30, 2020 6:24 pm
The Inspector-General of Police, IGP M.A. Adamu, has warned politicians and their supporters in Edo and Ondo States, where gubernatorial elections are scheduled to hold on 19th September, 2020 and 10th October, 2020 respectively, to conduct themselves properly, play by the rules and steer-clear of tendencies capable of undermining the electoral process in the two States.
The two states, as history shows have been hot beds of electoral violence, ballot snatching and allegations of rigging. In 1983, political violence consumed many big shots belonging to the National Party of Nigeria (Senator Lawrence Agunbiade, Chief Agbayewa, and others
In Edo, people loyal to All Progressives Congress and Peoples Democratic Party are threatening fire and brimstone.
It was for the above reasons that the IGP gave the warning having reviewed the Election Security Threat Assessment Reports submitted by the Commissioners of Police from both States in a meeting held Tuesday, 25th August, 2020. The Election Security Threat Analysis reveals amongst other indicators: arming and movement of political thugs, use of inciting statements during political campaigns, high likelihood of violence and possible cross attack by political opponents, misinformation/disinformation aimed at heating-up of the polity and deliberate efforts at delegitimizing government institutions involved in the electoral processes.
The IGP has therefore ordered the Commissioners of Police in the two States – Edo and Ondo – to rejig their preparations for the elections to accommodate and address the threats and emerging trends as contained in the security report. He noted that the Force leadership is evolving customized security architecture to protect the people and ensure hitch-free elections. The IGP however warns politicians and their supporters in Edo and Ondo that the Force will not hesitate to bring the full weight of the law on anyone or group, irrespective of status that may want to sabotage the security arrangement being emplaced for the elections.
Meanwhile, the IGP assures Nigerians, particularly the people of Edo and Ondo States that the Force remains committed to protecting the sanctity of the ballot in the country. He reiterates that the Police will be neutral, apolitical and will work assiduously with all stakeholders in ensuring a level playing ground for all in the elections.
However, analysts have submitted that to prevent violence, the IGP must do the following:
*He must invite all the leaders to sign a “peace treaty.”
*He should transfer and bring new Police Commissioners to the two states
*The IGP must do massive transfers of cops to the two politically volatile states.