The Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mr. Mohammed Adamu, has expressed worries over the “high likelihood of violence” during the September 19 and October 10 gubernatorial elections in Edo and Ondo states, respectively.
According to the IGP, the alert followed a painstaking review of security threat assessment reports submitted to him, by the Commissioners of Police (CPs) in charge of the aforementioned states.
The Force Public Relations Officer (FPRO), DCP Frank Mba, who conveyed the police chief’s position in a statement Sunday, identified such threats as arming of political thugs, cross attack by political opponents among others.
Consequently, Adamu has directed the respective CPs to immediately reorganise their operational readiness for the polls, which have two incumbent governors – Mr. Godwin Obaseki (Edo), as well as a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Mr. Rotimi Akeredolu (Ondo) – seeking second terms in office.
This was as he warned politicians and their supporters against breaching electoral codes, vowing to bring the full weight of the law to bear on perpetrators of violence before, during and after the polls.
“The Inspector-General of Police…has warned politicians and their supporters in Edo and Ondo States, where gubernatorial elections are scheduled to hold on 19th September, 2020 and 10th October, 2020 respectively, to conduct themselves properly, play by the rules and steer-clear of tendencies capable of undermining the electoral process in the two States,” Mba said.
He noted that: “The IGP gave the warning having reviewed the Election Security Threat Assessment Reports submitted by the Commissioners of Police from both States in a meeting held Tuesday, 25th August, 2020.
“The Election Security Threat Analysis reveals amongst other indicators: arming and movement of political thugs, use of inciting statements during political campaigns, high likelihood of violence and possible cross attack by political opponents, misinformation/disinformation aimed at heating-up of the polity and deliberate efforts at delegitimizing government institutions involved in the electoral processes.
“The IGP has therefore ordered the Commissioners of Police in the two States – Edo and Ondo – 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 customized security architecture to protect the people and ensure hitch-free elections.
“The IGP, however, warns politicians and their supporters in Edo and Ondo 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.”