Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
Inspector-general of Police, Mohammed Adamu, has again warned that ballot box snatchers and other perpetrators of electoral violence would be dealt with ruthlessly in the coming gubernatorial and state house of assembly elections on Saturday, March 9.
He gave the warning at the end of the security meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari in Abuja, yesterday.
He announced plans to deploy extra security measures by his men in violence-prone states and areas across the country.
The police boss told State House correspondents that the police have orders to avert the kind of violence that attended the presidential and National Assembly polls in some states a fortnight ago.
He listed Bayelsa, Rivers and a few other states as worst hit by violence, and warned that the police would not tolerate any form of violence or malpractices on Saturday.
Adamu thanked Nigerians who came out in their numbers to vote in the presidential election and urged them to do the same in the governorship and state assembly polls, as the police were ready with fresh strategies to make the exercise more peaceful.
The police boss said: “We are all aware of the fact that we just concluded the presidential and National Assembly elections and we want to congratulate Nigerians for the peaceful conduct of the elections and we are prepared now for the governorship and the house of assembly elections in the country.
“We’ll like every Nigerian to come out and cast his or her vote. The security arrangement we provided during the presidential elections is being enhanced so as to provide enabling environment for everybody to come out and cast his or her vote for their preferred candidates.
“We will again advise those that will want to disrupt the process to rethink because, during the presidential election, we had some challenges here and there, but we’ll not allow those challenges to recur. We are taking more security measures to address those pockets of challenges we noticed.
“So, again thuggery is not allowed. Ballot box snatching is not allowed. Disruption of the election process is not allowed. We, the security personnel have resolved to deal ruthlessly with anybody that attempts to disrupt the process of this election. For that reason, we expect that, in every state, the conduct of the election should be respected. We expect that electoral materials must not be tampered with; we expect that the INEC officials would do their work without fear or favour and without being allowed to compromise. In the same vein, the security personnel are to perform their duties without allowing themselves to be compromised. So, we have heightened the security arrangement to make sure that the election goes without any hitches.”