BENIN CITY – The Police Command in Edo has promised to be neutral, apolitical, firm and professional in the Feb. 16 and March 2 general elections.
The state’s Commissioner of Police, Mr Olusegun Odumosu, made the vow in Benin on Wednesday, during the Peace Accord and Stakeholders Meeting, organised by the force in preparation for the elections.
Odomusu said that the command would provide a level playing field for all political parties in the state and stressed that the exercise must not be seen as a war.
He noted that there was no doubt that the elections would be a great test and subject the force’s professionalism and commitment to duty to national and international scrutiny.
He stated that the command was fully prepared for the exercise as every arrangement had been made to ensure free, fair, credible and peaceful elections.
The commissioner of police also said that it was certain that elections would come and go, but ‘‘Edo State will continue to remain.’’
He disclosed that the Acting Inspector-General of Police, Mr Mohammed Adamu, had fashioned out strategic action plans to ensure security of persons and property during and after the elections.
Similarly, the Edo Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Mr Emmanuel Alex-Hart, gave the assurance that the commission was working round the clock to ensure hitch-free polls.
Stakeholders were unanimous in their calls on INEC and the security agencies to ensure that vote buying was not allowed irrespective of the political parties involved.
They also pleaded that they should allow the masses’ votes to count as well and treat every citizen as equal.
They further appealed that supporters of the various political parties should be sensitised to enable them to vote right and avoid invalid votes.
News Agency of Nigeria reports that those present at the meeting were representatives of all security agencies, political parties, civil society organisations, and religious leaders, traditional rulers and INEC officials.
Also present were some personnel from the National Youths Service Corps (NYSC), the National Orientation Agency (NOA) and the Police Community Relations Committee.