Take a fresh look at your lifestyle.

Police assures on security, warns trouble makers on Anambra poll

Anthony Iwuoma

The Police on Wednesday assured the people of adequate security during Saturday’s governorship election in Anambra State, warning of dire consequences to trouble makers that may attempt to scuttle the exercise.

Speaking during stakeholders’ meeting, the Inspector General of Police, IGP, Usman Baba, explained that the heavy security cordon in the state was not to intimidate law-abiding voters but to ensure that the entire state is adequately secured during the electoral exercise.

“This massive deployment is not designed to intimidate the law-abiding as being insinuated in some quarters,” Usman said.

“On the contrary, it is to reassure them of adequate protection by deterring misguided political elements as well as non-state actors that might be bent on threatening the election through acts of armed violence or other conducts that violate the provisions of the Electoral Act.

“It is to also serve as a strong warning that the government is determined to bring such subversive characters to justice should they advance their ignoble, undemocratic and unpatriotic intents.

“The overriding objective of our operational action plan is to ensure an environment that is peaceful enough to encourage the law-abiding people of Anambra State to exercise their electoral franchise.

“The message here is clear. For the political actors and electorates that are law abiding, they are fully assured of optimal security.

“However, for the destabilising elements and other deviants who despite all wise counsels are determined to deploy violence and other illegal means to advance their political interests or constitute a clog in the wheel of peaceful atmosphere for the election, they should be prepared for the consequences of their actions as they will be identified, isolated and decisively dealt with irrespective of their status, ideological inclinations or political affiliation.”

The IGP also said the police would be impartial, professional and accountable in the discharge of its role in accordance with provisions of the Electoral Act and other enabling laws.

He said: “All the police personnel to be deployed are under instruction to be guided by the Code of Conduct and Rules of Engagement for Security Personnel on Electoral Duty as developed jointly by INEC and security agencies.

“The document clearly highlights the roles, ethics and standard of operations of all security agents to be deployed on election security duties.

“Accordingly, all security agents are fully conscious of the fact that they are under an obligation to perform their functions within the rule of law and civil dictates and that they could be held accountable for any professional conduct that negates the dictates of the Code of Conduct.

“Everyone is enjoined to vote and return to their respective houses or remain peacefully within approved perimeters of the polling centres. No one is allowed to move about from one polling unit to another; only INEC accredited election monitors/observers are allowed to move around; only accredited journalists are allowed to cover the election.”