Nigeria’s Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, says he is worried over the ongoing arming and movement of thugs by politicians in preparation for the governorship elections in Edo and Ondo states.
Elections are scheduled to hold on September 19 and October 10, 2020, respectively.
According to Mr Mohammed, the Election Security Threat Assessment Reports submitted by the Commissioners of Police from both states in a meeting held on August 25 also revealed the use of inciting statements during political campaigns.
In the report he also identified a high likelihood of violence and possible cross-attack by political opponents as well as misinformation and disinformation “aimed at heating-up the polity and deliberate efforts at delegitimising government institutions involved in the electoral processes.”
“The Election Security Threat Analysis reveals amongst other indicators: arming and movement of political thugs, use of inciting statements during political campaigns, high likelihood of violence and possible cross attack by political opponents, misinformation/disinformation aimed at heating-up of the polity and deliberate efforts at delegitimizing government institutions involved in the electoral processes,” he said.
Consequently, he warned politicians and their supporters to conduct themselves properly, play by the rules, and steer clear of tendencies capable of undermining the electoral process in the two states.
Following this development, the IG ordered the commissioners of police in the two states to rejig their preparations for the elections and address the threats and emerging trends as contained in the security report.
He disclosed that the force leadership was evolving “customised security architecture” to protect the people and ensure hitch-free elections.
The police boss however assured the people of Edo and Ondo States that the Force remained committed to protecting the sanctity of the ballot in the country.
He promised neutrality on the part of the force saying the police would be apolitical, and “will work assiduously with all stakeholders in ensuring a level playing ground for all in the elections.”