Ondo Will Witness Rancour-Free Election, By Adewole Kehinde
On Wednesday 28th September, 2016, a peaceful election was conducted in Edo State without any violence. This was due to the security arrangement put in place by the good-natured Inspector General of Police, IGP Ibrahim K. Idris.
It will be recalled that in his determination to ensure that the rescheduled Edo Gubernatorial Election was conducted in a peaceful and secured atmosphere, the Inspector General of Police had ordered the galvanization of the reviewed operation plan for the governorship election that held throughout the State on Wednesday, 28th September, 2016.
As the Ondo State Governorship election is scheduled to hold on the 26th of November, 2016, I am aware that Inspector General of Police, IGP Ibrahim Idris has directed that a robust and elaborate security arrangement to be implemented in Ondo State to ensure peaceful, credible, free and fair election should be put in place.
I must commend the IGP for deploying a Deputy Inspector General of Police to be assisted by an Assistant Inspector General of Police and three Commissioners of Police to coordinate the security operations and supervise the deployment of security personnel for the elections throughout the 3009 polling units, 203 wards and 18 LGA of the State.
Just like the successful Edo Governorship Election, the IGP has approved deployment of additional 26,000 conventional Police personnel (5 Policemen per polling unit), two thousand (2,000) Mobile Police Force (PMF), ten (10) cells of Counter Terrorism Unit, the Special Protection Unit, the Anti Bomb Squad (EOD), the Marine Police, Conventional Policemen, the Armament Units, personnel from FCIID and FIIB and the Sniffer dogs section and Mounted Troops to Ondo State so as to ensure adequate security and safety of life and property before, during and after the elections.
Just like the Edo situation, the IGP on 22nd November attended a Peace accord meeting of all the political parties, their flag bearers, INEC officials, election observers and other stakeholders before the date of the election in Akure, Ondo State aimed at guaranteeing a peaceful and credible election.
The IGP has done his part, I am using this medium to call on the Police personnel deployed for the elections to be polite and civil in the discharge of their duties and other responsibilities. They should provide adequate security for the electorates, INEC Staff, election materials, election observers and other individuals and bodies that have statutory roles in the conduct of the elections, at the Polling booths, Collation Centres and INEC Offices throughout the period of the election.
The electoral process should be well secure; eligible voters should be allow to exercise their rights freely without intimidation, election materials and officials should be well protected and above all, they should ensure that no single soul will be lost during the election.
In the same manner, protection of life and property in Ondo State should be duly secured while any protest that might want to arise should be put under control by the Nigeria Police with support from other sister security agencies on ground.
The Police officers deployed for the election should conduct themselves in the best professional manner by maintaining apolitical disposition and strictly stood by the rules of engagement.
The entire Nigeria Policemen that are deployed to Ondo State should discharge their statutory functions effectively, unbiased and in accordance to the principles of democratic policing.
On a final note, all the participating political parties, community leaders, parents and Guardians should warn and prevail on their members, supporters and children to be law abiding and not allow themselves to be used to cause havoc during the elections.
Lastly, Nigerians should be assured of adequate security in our electoral process as the foundation for a rancour-free election has been laid in Edo State by the Inspector General of Police, IGP Ibrahim Idris.
Adewole Kehinde is a Journalist and Public Affairs Analyst based in Abuja. He can be reached via email@example.com