Ben Ezechime, Enugu
The Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG), Mr John Amadi, has warned troublemakers and those issuing threats of violence to steer clear the South-East polls during the March 11 polls.
Amadi, who is the Supervisory DIG in-charge of South-East, gave the warning on Wednesday in Enugu during an interactive meeting between the police and political parties within Enugu State.
He noted that the Inspector-General of Police had given directive for the police to deal decisively with any political party or candidate that would use thugs and engage in thuggery to hinder the people’s right to vote and for their votes to count.
According to him, the elections coming up are of the grassroots, and the stakes are high. However, that should not make it a do or die affair.
He said: “No one should win at all costs. At the same time, everyone must never win at the same time. Even if you lose, there would definitely be another time or chance.
“Police and other sister security agencies will never allow any political party or candidate to turn any part of the South-East to a domain of violence during the elections.
“Remember, if you provoke the police and other sister security agencies, we have the full force of coercion and after that we will make sure that those that perpetrate the violence would face the full wrath of the law.”
The DIG, however, lauded police officers in the zone especially in Enugu State for outstanding conduct during the just-concluded February 25, polls.
Amadi, who is also DIG in-charge of Police Logistics and Supply, said that the people of Enugu State, according to real-time security reports available, displayed peaceful disposition during the elections.
Earlier, Commissioner of Police in Enugu State, Mr Ahmed Ammani, noted that the recent threat of violence in the social media in the state negates the values of peace and brotherly love Enugu State people are known for.
Ammani, however, urged political party faithful, supporters and candidates to refrain from heating up the polity and wishing for bloodshed in the state.
“Sincerely, I pray and wish that the residents and electorate comport themselves in a peaceful and orderly manner as they did during the just-concluded Feb. 25 polls.
“However, the police and other security agencies have taken note of the threats and other possible violence flash-points in the state and we will deal decisively with any troublemaker or thug on the day of the elections.
“We do not have any other state we can call our own; so we must strive to preserve the peace of our state and those with the attitude of violence should stay away,” he assured.
The commissioner appreciated the political parties for abiding by the peace accord they signed with the Police Command that led to a peaceful and successful Feb. 25 polls in the state, adding; “we did not record any loss of life.”
Speaking, Chief Edwin Alor, the state Chairman of the Inter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC), lauded political parties and politicians for maintaining the peace in the state since the campaign officially commenced and the Feb. 25 polls.
Alor said that IPAC would continue to impress upon its members (drawn from different political parties in the state) to ensure a peaceful state by “moderating their campaigns and actions.”
At the end of the meeting, various political parties represented by their state executive members pledged to abide by the Electoral Act and ensure safety of all during the polls.
Meanwhile, DIG John Amadi, who later addressed police officers and men deployed for election duties, urged them to maintain the high standard of professionalism in the Nigeria Police.
Amadi reminded them that their actions and general conduct were being monitored and “any personnel found wanting, we face disciplinary actions.”
“You have been warned that you should mind your professional job of election security; do not take sides or collude with any politician or political party to cause disagreement or crisis,” he warned.
It would be recalled that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has scheduled Saturday, March 11, for Governorship and State Assembly elections in the country as well as Enugu East Senatorial Zone earlier postponed.