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Work for free, fair, transparent, and peaceful elections in Ondo State, U.S. urges stakeholders

  • Police to deal with deviant politicians – IGP

The United States (U.S.) on Tuesday urged all stakeholders to continue to work toward free, fair, transparent and peaceful Governorship election on Saturday in Ondo State.

According to a statement from the U.S.Embassy, Abuja, “the United States urges all stakeholders to continue to work toward free, fair, transparent, and peaceful elections in Ondo State. 

“We reiterate our hope that all participants in the democratic process, including the INEC, political parties, and the security services, will take concrete steps to ensure a peaceful election that reflects the will of the people of Ondo. 

“The United States remains committed to the U.S.-Nigeria partnership as we work together to achieve our mutual goals of peace and prosperity for the citizens of both our countries.”

 This is just as Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Mr Mohammed Adamu, has assured that any politician who makes trouble during the Governorship election on Saturday would be dealt with.

The IGP gave the warning in his address to policemen deployed to handle security during the October 10th elections.

He also assured that the policemen would be civil enough not to abuse the freedom of law-abiding citizens.

Said Mohammed: “while we shall be civil enough to protect the law-abiding citizens, we shall be decisive in dealing with any political deviant that may attempt to disrupt the peaceful order during the election.

“Beyond securing the public space all through the electoral process, you shall be deployed to adequately police the 3,009 Polling Units (PUs) in 203 Wards spread over the 18 Local Government Areas of the State. You shall also be utilised to protect the personnel, materials and facilities of the Independent National Electoral Commission, the electorates, and residents of Ondo State in general before, during and immediately after the elections.

“I charge you to maintain political neutrality and resist any temptation that could betray your professional calling or threaten the democratic process.

“You are to be guided by your Oath of Office and allegiance to the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. In the performance of your duty, you should also prioritise your personal safety by adhering strictly to the COVID-19 safety protocols.

“In addition, you should conduct yourselves within the framework of the Code of Conduct and Rules of Engagement for Security Personnel on Electoral Duty as developed and approved by the Inter-Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security (ICCES)”, the IGP advised.

He equalyy assured the police men “that your welfare remains of importance to me and as such, I have directed the prompt payment of your allowances.

“Let me use this opportunity to express my deep concern over the re-surging trend of unprofessional conducts by some police personnel who in utter disregard to their professional training, international protocols, constitutional dictates, Force policies, and ethical standards have continued to drag the Force into acts that pitch us against the citizens we were engaged, paid, and statutorily obligated to serve and protect.

“I am in this instance, referring specifically to the excesses of personnel in the Federal and State anti-Robbery Squad and other special units that operate in mufti”, and re-iterated the ban on the those tactical squard in the Police Force.

Adamu reminded them “that no component of our laws or international protocols authorizes the unlawful killing or degrading treatment of fellow citizens as law enforcement agents and no element of our professional training or ethical standards permits any police personnel to deploy lethal weapons either consciously or otherwise except as provided for in our statutes and in Force Order 237. Unfortunately, all the recent incidents of abuse of police powers violated these provisions.

“I wish to therefore, reinforce the extant Force Accountability Policy which holds any officer professionally and criminally liable for the consequences of their actions.

I am, therefore, sounding this note of warning loudly and clearly that henceforth, any police personnel that insists on being incorrigible by engaging in abuse of his or her powers in a manner that degrades, endangers or threatens the life and other fundamental rights of the citizens shall be promptly arrested, processed through our internal disciplinary machinery and if found culpable, shall be dismissed from service.

“I must emphasise that enough is enough. The nation and indeed the police under the current leadership shall no longer tolerate abuses associated with the Police”, he warned.

The IGP recalled the excellent work done by the police during the recent governorship election in Edo and urged them to repeat the performance in Ondo.

 

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