As the general election approaches, the Inspector General of Police (IG), Suleiman Abba, on Tuesday warned officers and men of the force not to operate outside the Electoral Act as anybody going contrary would be treated as dereliction of duty.
Addressing Police Offices under zone six in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State capital, the IG said arrangements had been concluded for mass distribution of the Electoral Act to all the policemen across the country.
He reminded the security operatives of the need to conduct themselves within the guideline and provision of the electoral act cautioning that Policemen are not expected to be partisan in the current political dispensation.
Abba hinted that the contract for the delivery of 2,500 patrol vehicles had been signed and about 500 of the vehicles so far delivered pending arrival of others and distribution to various state command.
He charged policemen not to be intimidated in the conduct of the forthcoming general election as there was nothing new about the role of the police during the election which includes maintaining law and order as well as protection of lives and property.
“Don’t be discouraged any way. There is nothing new about the role of police during the election. It is simple the maintenance of law and order and protection of lives and property.
“The only new thing is that the electoral law has been added. Make sure you inculcate the value of hard work, honesty, humility, commitment and sacrifice, make sacrifice to you nation”, he advised.
The IG disclosed that enough personnel even from the sister agencies have been assembled to ensure all the polling units are protected during and after the election.
He said although firearms are not allow with a give radius during election, the police would not allow any intimidation of voters and snatching of ballot boxes.
“During election, people should be able to reach you and you should be able to render that assistant. You must be able to protect the person coming to vote, INEC officials, materials and result at the end of elections.
The IG maintained that the police are ready to enforce the law stressing that the violence experienced in 2011 must not be allowed to happen again.
He ordered that anybody who tries to cause violence during election must be promptly arrested, commending the security operatives for the wonderful performance so far exhibited in the cause of the ongoing political campaigns.