By Precious Igbonwelundu
Ahead of the Governorship elections in Edo and Ondo scheduled for September 19 and October 10 respectively, the Inspector General of Police (IG) Mohammed Adamu has raised the alarm that politicians were arming and moving thugs in order to unleash violence.
He raised the alarm on Sunday after review of election security threat assessment report submitted by the Commissioners of Police in Edo and Ondo States.
According to the Police Chief, aside the arming and movement of thugs; other threat indicators included the use of inciting statements during political campaigns, high likelihood of violence and possible cross attack by political opponents, misinformation/disinformation aimed at heating-up polity and deliberate efforts at delegitimising government institutions involved in the electoral processes.
Warning politicians and their supporters to conduct themselves and play by the rules, Adamu in a statement on Sunday by spokesman, Frank Mba, said the police would not tolerate actions capable of undermining the electoral process in both states.
He said protection of the ballot was sacrosanct and that the Commissioners of Police in both states have been ordered to rejig their preparations for the elections to accommodate and address the threats and emerging trends as contained in the security report.
“He noted that the Force leadership is evolving customised security architecture to protect the people and ensure hitch-free elections.
“The IGP however warns politicians and their supporters in Edo and Ondo States that the Force will not hesitate to bring the full weight of the law on anyone or group, irrespective of status that may want to sabotage the security arrangement being emplaced for the elections.
“The IGP assures Nigerians, particularly the people of Edo and Ondo States that the Force remains committed to protecting the sanctity of the ballot in the country.
‘’He reiterates that the police will be neutral, apolitical and will work assiduously with all stakeholders in ensuring a level playing ground for all in the elections,” Mba stated.