August 30, 2020|RAZORNEWS
The Inspector-General of Police, IGP Mohammed Adamu, has warned political actors and their supporters in Edo and Ondo States, where gubernatorial elections are scheduled to hold on September 19, 2020 and October 10, 2020 respectively, to desist from violence, play by the rules and steer-clear of tendencies capable of undermining the electoral process in the two states.
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, August 25, 2020
In a statement by Force Public Relations Officer (FPR0), Frank Mba, a Deputy Commissioner of Police, made available to The Guardian, the IGP noted that 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”, Mba said.
Amnesty International (AI), recently, expressed concerns over the perceived threats to human rights and the ideal electoral process ahead of the September 19 governorship election in Edo State. Similarly, the Coalition of Civil Society Groups for Good Governance and Electoral Matters staged a protest in Abuja against the growing threats of violence by political parties ahead of the poll. This came on a day the All Progressives Congress, APC and Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Edo State, traded tackles over the dispatch of a team of over 50 Police officers, to Okpella community where they are allegedly occupying the private residence of a political appointee of Governor Godwin Obaseki.
Amnesty International, in a statement called on President Muhammadu Buhari to wade in and salvage the situation before it mars the entire election process. Its Country Director, Osai Ojigho, noted that the laxity of the government and justice system against those encouraging violence at this pre-election period in the state was a signal to what might happen on election day and afterward.
Ojigho said: “The potential turmoil being stirred up by various factions ahead of the gubernatorial election in Edo State should send a clear signal to the Nigerian authorities of the imminent violence ahead of the polls and government must take active steps to prevent a bloody poll. “Fueling the instability and impunity in the state, are reports of supporters of some politicians violently targeting political opponents, real or perceived. The authorities must stamp out any potential impunity by ensuring these incidents are investigated and those suspected to be responsible, brought to justice.”