With less than five days to the presidential and National Assembly elections, the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) has warned that it would deal decisively with any of its officers who aids and abets any unscrupulous politician in electoral malpractices.
The Assistant-Inspector General of Police (AIG) in charge of Zone 11, AIG Ikemefuna Okoye, gave the warning on Monday in Akure, the Ondo State capital. He promised to penalize any police officer who refuses to remain neutral during the elections.
Zone 11 comprises of the Osun, Ondo (Headquarters) and Oyo police commands.
Mr. Okoye said the primary function of the police was to ensure that the lives and property of all citizens were jealously protected, hence the need for officers to be ready to protect voters and avoid undue politicking.
“The police shall ensure that property are protected. [They shall ensure that the] electoral officers and [members of the] electorate are protected. We shall also ensure there is no breach of peace during Saturday’s election”, said the AIG.
He added that all “officers should also be very professional in the discharge of their duties and none of them should involve themselves in anything politics. They should be seen as apolitical”.
Mr. Okoye stressed that the NPF was fully ready for the elections and urged all officers to imbibe the culture of discipline, to remain professional and cultivate good relationship with the electorate without intimidation or favor.
“Our men are fully prepared for the election and I can assure the electorate to go out freely and cast their votes without fear”, he said.
The AIG also called on all political office holders in the country to comply with the directives of the police that all security aides in their camp should be withdrawn on Election Day.
“It is a directive from the Inspector General of Police and all the politicians must comply. It is a must that all the security aides should be withdrawn because we won’t tolerate any breach”, he declared.
The Commissioner of Police in Ondo State, Isaac Eke, warned undisciplined officers to shun illegal duties on the day of the elections, threatening to discipline any officer caught sabotaging the effort of the police to ensure credible polls.