From Olanrewaju Lawal,Birnin Kebbi
The Kebbi State Commissioner of Police,Mr. Ahmad Magaji Kontagora,Emir of Gwandu and Chairman of Kebbi State Council of Chiefs,Alhaji Muhammad Illiyasu Bashar have urged politicians and their supporters, to adhere to rules and regulations enacted in the Electoral Acts during their campaigns.
They stated this while addressing major stakeholders at the police headquarters, Birnin Kebbi during an election and security management colloquium ahead of 2023 general elections.
While speaking at the meeting, Kebbi state Commissioner of Police, Mr. Ahmad Magaji Kontagora said: “the wisdom behind inviting you to this important meeting is simply to talk to each other and to agree on how to manage the expected political competitions and conflicts in a peaceful manner.
” As you are all aware, by section 94 (1)of the Electoral Act 2022, electioneering campaigns by all Political Parties has officially commence on the 28th September, 2022, for the Presidential and National Assembly while that of the Governorship and State House of Assembly to also commence on the 12th October, 2022. This means that, the national political space has been opened and the possibility of recording politically related offences across the state is glaring.
“The Police, as the lead security agency in the election security processes, has the statutory obligation to ensure the maintenance of security, law and order, with the active support of the relevant security agencies. It is in this regard that the Inspector-General of Police, IGP Usman Alkali Baba summoned all the Police strategic Commanders across the country where he reaffirmed the mandates and responsibilities of the Force during this period.
“In the same vain, the IGP had directed all the Commissioners of Police to liaise with the INEC Resident Electoral Commissioners and the leadership of all political parties to develop a mutually agreed campaigns time table that will address possible conflicts in terms of date, time and venue of their activities.
” It was accordingly emphasized that all security agencies, in the performance of this strategic responsibility, must be guided by the provisions of the Electoral Act 2022, the Penal Code and Rules of Engagement for Security Personnel on election duty which was issued in 2020 by the Inter-Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security (ICCES)
In his remarks, the Emir of Gwandu, Alhaji Muhammad Bashar, represented by Alhaji Ibrahim Bello,Amir Zoramawa, urged the political parties to play their electioneering campaigns by the rules and regulations in conformity with the electoral act.
According to him, “this meeting is timely and apt given the anticipated heat atmosphere might be occasioned by the seasonal electioneering campaigns coupled with security challenges in some parts of the state,” he said.
Bashar who appealed to the youths to avoid being used by the politicians to foment trouble, also charged the politicians to fear God, avoid given illicit drugs to the youths for their evil political practices and selfishness
In his remarks, the Kebbi state Resident Electoral Commissioner, Barrister Ahmad Mahmud solicited the support of all the stakeholders to enable the INEC to have successful 2023 general elections.
Mahmud explained that,without the cooperation of Police, Army and other security agencies, it would be difficult to have conducive environment to conduct credibl, free and fair elections.
According to him, “we really need your cooperation to educate enlightening our youths,the general public not to sell their votes. We are collaborating with EFCC,Police to stop votes buying. We have also expanded the polling units across the country to ease the stress of electorates during voting exercises”.
He added that the Commission is going to embark of aggressive public enlightenment to ensure the general public participated in the 2023 general elections.