ABUJA — Following the promise by the Police High Command to ensure a hitch-free elections and checkmate all manner of violence, President Goodluck Jonathan, yesterday, commissioned 263 patrol vehicles for the Nigerian police even as he appealed to supporters of political parties to eschew violence at the polls.
Represented by the Vice President Namadi Sambo, Jonathan said approval for the acquisition of 2,564 operational vehicles was given with the intention to see that the Police “provide the needed security and enhance their operation to ensure the conduct of free and fair elections.”
Jonathan’s words: “The procurement of these vehicles is aimed at boosting the capacity of the Nigeria Police Force to deliver effectively, efficiently and appreciably.
“A well-equipped and adequately motivated police force will assist in no small measure to assist in ensuring the security needed in the drive to economic growth and development of Nigeria.
“In view of the strong commitment of government to provide for the NPF within available resources, it is my hope that the gesture by government will be reciprocated by assisting the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in ensuring it conducts free elections this month.
“It is also expected that the deployment of these operational vehicles will translate to enhanced surveillance of our communities in order to improve security.”
Highlighting the efforts of government towards enhanced peace and security of all over the country, the Vice President urged all Nigerians to see themselves as Nigerians and see to the unity of the country, despite their political leanings.
He said: “I want to call on politicians, the aspirants, their supporters and their sympathisers to eschew all forms of violence and unlawful practices, both in words and conduct, before and after elections.
“Let us eschew any form of violence. We should condemn any form of violence before, during and after elections. We should know that elections will come and go but Nigeria will remain as one nation and one people.”
Earlier in his opening address, the Inspector General of Police, Suleiman Abba, said approval for 2,564 operational vehicles was given by the President, but the first batch of the patrol cars comprising “170 Nissan NP300 hard body Patrol Pick up vans, 129 Nissan Frontier Double Cabin Patrol Vehicles, 50 Nissan Patrol 4WD Jeeps, 10 Toyota double cabin Armoured Patrol Vans and four Ford 550 model 4X4 state of the art Armoured Personnel Carriers” are ready for commissioning.
Asked if the remaining bulk will be available before the elections that are two weeks away, IGP Abba said: “Delivery particular when it is on production, you can’t make conclusions, but the most important thing is that the contract has been signed and the supply is coming from an indigenous company.