THE Nigerian police force has reiterated committed towards providing adequate security for free, fair and credible conduct of the 2019 general elections.
It has also said that its personnel would not compromise in favour of any political party.
Assistant Commissioner of Police, Federal Capital Territory Command, Samuel Musa, made the remarks on Thursday, in Abuja, at a stakeholders meeting organised by the Centre for Transparency Advocacy (CTA) with the theme: Towards a Credible 2019 Elections, the Role of Stakeholders.
He said forthcoming general elections would provide a litmus test for men and officers of the police force to prove their professionalism.
He said the police would also come down heavily on politicians who might use the election day proper to solicit for votes, snatch ballot boxes, engage in thuggery, vote buying, among other electoral malpractices.
Musa noted that the citizens expect the best from the police, in terms of being neutral in the entire electoral process, stressing that politicians and the electorate also have roles to ensure they conduct themselves peacefully.
“The police will do its best to ensure that no Nigerian is disenfranchised or denied his right of voting, we will protect the electoral materials until it gets to the polling units.
“But let me highlight what we will term as wrongdoing as far as this election is concerned, a situation where people solicit votes on election day, or ballot box snatching, thuggery, or engage in outright vote buying, these are things we will not condone.
“We have been holding series of meeting in the buildup to this election, to ensure that everything goes on peacefully, “he stated.
Meanwhile, Barrister Mahmud Ahmed, representing Public Interest Lawyers League, a civil society group, has criticised the recent deployment of Police Commissioners to the 36 states of the federation and FCT by the Inspector General of Police, Adamu Mohammed.
He particularly picked Kwara State, where former aide de camp of former Lagos state governor, Kayode Egbetokun has been posted.
According to him, the IG should have known better that even though nothing was wrong with the posting, assigning him there was sure to raise unnecessary sentiments because of the current political atmosphere in the country.
He, therefore, advised the IG to do a slight review of such postings in the interest of fairness to all stakeholders.
He said, “I commend the new IG, Mohammed who has promised to be professional in the discharge of his duties, but the posting of Kayode Egbetokun to Kwara shouldn’t have been done in view of the perception it can create in the minds of Nigerians.
“The IG should have known that Nigeria is a country where perceptions are created and before you know it, it begins to gain root, so avoiding such sentiments would do well for the polity, especially now that elections are approaching”.