Tony Osauzo and Ighomuaye Lucky, Benin
Ahead of Saturday’s governorship election, the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, yesterday, warned that any security personnel in uniform without tag and policemen found going about with politicians on election day would be arrested.
He gave the warning while addressing participants at Edo State Governorship Election Stakeholders’ meeting in Benin City.
The Inspector General of Police who announced that 31,000 policemen would be deployed for the Edo election, said the deployment is also to sound a warning to those who plan to disrupt the election that they would be dealt with according to the law.
Besides, he said police personnel deployed for the election are aware that they would be held accountable for any misconduct, even as he assured that security agencies would remain neutral and ensure free, fair and credible election.
The Police boss who reeled out a list of what would not be permitted on election day to include wearing of any emblem or colour of any political party to the polling areas, just as he said anybody in possession of firearms would be apprehended and charged to court.
He advised parents and guardians to advise their children and wards against being recruited as thugs by politicians for the election.
He also urged security personnel to be firm and decisive to any electoral breach, charging them to be part of the success of the electoral process.
During a question and answer session, the Inspector General of Police, stated that stealing of ballots, moving around with security on election day and vote-buying, are done by politicians, pointing out that if politicians do the right thing, those issues would not arise.
“If you break the electoral laws, you are going to be held responsible and there would be consequences no matter those involved”, he said.
Urging the electorate to play their part to ensure that the right person is elected into office as governor, Mohammed Adamu announced that the entry points into Edo State would be blocked by military personnel and therefore, urged the people to play their part to ensure the success of the polls as election is in partnership with the people.
On his part, INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, spoke in the same vein and said delivering free and fair election was everybody’s responsibility. He therefore, enjoined politicians to support the electoral process.
He said in the Edo election, the Commission has introduced new features in the result sheets that have never been seen in any results sheets before to make the election results full proof.
“The people of Edo, be rest assured that the election on Saturday will be credible”, the INEC boss said.
Representative of the Oba of Benin, Chief Henry Osato Bazuaye, while saying that the
Palace is apolitical, urged the police, INEC to ensure free, fair and credible election, just as he called on the political parties to ensure peace during the election.
“They should ensure that the election is one of the best. It’s going to be a free, fair and successful election”, he said.
On his part, the Director-General of NYSC, Brigadier-General Shuaibu Ibrahim, represented by Omolade Ayodele, Coordinator, Edo/Delta, while assuring corps members deployed for the election would ensure high standard demanded of them, urged politicians to ensure their safety.