By: Ifeanyi Okonkwo (Anambra),
The Commissioner of Police (CP), Anambra State, Garba Baba Umar (psc) has assured political parties, stakeholders and candidates vying for political office in the forthcoming general elections that the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) would not favour anybody during the polls.
CP Umar, gave this assurance recently at a meeting with electoral stakeholders held at the State Police Command in Awka the Anambra state capital.
In his words he said:-
“This meeting is coming at the right time considering the fact that elections are around the corner and there is the need to brain storm on electoral security review and implementation of security measures throughout the electoral process to ensure the success of the general election”.
While assuring the political parties on the security measures that is already in place by his Command, the CP said:-
“The Police Force will maintain absolute neutrality and professionalism in line with internationally acceptable best practices, as well as, provide a level playing ground for all political parties in the state”.
“The legacy of free and fair election achieved by the Command during the last gubernatorial election in the state will not only be sustained but consolidated.”
“We will not leave any stone unturned in order to achieve success. The Command has initiated strategic action plans in accordance with the vision and mission of the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mohammed Abubakar Adamu.”
“We shall collaborate with other sister agencies in order to frustrate political thugs and other misguided elements who want to truncate the electoral process, they should have a rethink.”
“We will not hesitate to take all necessary steps within the ambit of the law to deal decisively with any individual or group under whatever guise and bring them to book.”
“There shall be no usage of phone at polling units. We will be apolitical. We don’t have any interest with any political party. We will provide an enabling playing ground.”
“Anambra state has become a mirror to other states. There has been no violence recorded in the previous elections within the state. If you have any information about any political thugs, give us so that we can pick them up. Nobody is above the law.”
“The logistics of all Police men are been paid one week before election. This is to prevent any form of temptation.”
Stakeholders who attended the meeting in their separate speeches urged the police to stick to the ethics of their profession.
“All hands must be on deck to prevent those who are preparing to use violence. We condemn vote buying and selling.”
“Anambra is a very peaceful state and the safest state in Nigeria. This state has never recorded election violence at any point in time. We don’t have political clashes because we love our lives and bear in mind that it cannot be replaced.”
“Politicians use court orders to settle disputes.”
“We urge the Police to allow our accredited agents to have access to monitor and supervise votes at collation units, because as you are aware, elections are mostly rigged at collating centers.”
“Let the Police try and regain the trust and confidence of citizens on the fact that their lives is safe and will be protected during election.”
The meeting attracted Chairmen of political parties, aspirants, law enforcement agencies, INEC, Government representatives, election monitors (including domestic and foreign observers), the media, Civil Society Organizations and electoral assistance agencies.