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OPINION

IGP Mohammed Adamu’s Advocacy For Violence-free Elections

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There is no doubt that with the steps taken so far by the acting Inspector General of Police (IGP) Mohammed Adamu, the coming elections would be peaceful. The IGP is highly experienced and ready to bring his wealth of experience to bear in managing the internal security of Nigeria for the coming elections.

The task before him and the Nigeria Police Force is quite huge which requires the support of his management team, especially all the state commissioners of police during and after the general elections. Getting a position of leadership is one thing, but managing the position for the interest of the masses is the key missing point in our country, that’s why we should all commend a man who is mindful of his calling.

Some of the steps taken by the IGP Mohammed Adamu to reposition the Nigeria police for efficient and effective performance on election days and beyond are as follows; The changing of states commissioners of police, which would help to ensure free and fair elections across the country and as a check on state police commissioners who are said to be too cozy with some state governors that are likely to influence them during the elections. This is perhaps in response to complaints by opposition parties in some states that the commissioners of police are too close to the governors which has raised concern over their neutrality; Deployment of six DIGs, 24 AIGs and others senior officers of the Force.

Recently, IGP Mohammed Adamu held a meeting with the ECOWAS observers’ delegation, headed by former Liberian President and the INEC chairman in Abuja over the readiness of the police and the electoral umpire for the coming general elections. In his remarks at the meeting IGP Mohammed disclosed the efforts made so far by his team towards ensuring free, fair, and credible elections in Nigeria.

He stated that, six deputy Inspector Generals Of Police (DIGs) would be deployed to six geo-political zones, 24 Assistant Inspector Generals of Police (AIGs) would be deployed across the zones, while 36,000 technical personnel would also be deployed in addition to regular police to beef up security on election days. Withdrawal of policemen attached to politicians both from the ruling party, opposition parties, VIP and businessmen, is one of the greatest steps in ensuring equal right of every Nigerians during and after elections. The Force PRO, ACP Frank Mba explained the reasons for the steps taken by the Nigeria Police Force. He stated that the withdrawal of policemen would cut across all categories of VIPs, including the state commissioners of police, businessmen and individuals with policemen. This is a step in the right direction in the efforts towards enhancing national security. A situation whereby an individual will be moving around with three policemen or more will no longer possible. This is even as Nigeria is under policed. With poor police/population ratio in Nigeria it is unacceptable for few individuals to have policemen attached to them while the rest of the population are not adequately policed.

This latest development or reforms in the Nigeria Police Force is only possible because we have a man at the helm of affairs who has the political will to secure the country and ensure that our democracy works. It was in that determination to see that democracy works and our elections are done without encumbrances that the IGP in response to recent fire outbreaks in some INEC offices has ordered the beefing up of security at all INEC offices across the country.

People cannot destroy a process and want the process to work. There cannot be elections if the elections’ materials are destroyed. There cannot be elections if the INEC officials who are sent to conduct the elections are not safe. The earlier our politicians and their supporters understand this, the better for all of us. The order by our dear IGP is one of the best steps taken in cognizance of what happened in Plateau and Abia states few days ago, where INEC offices were burnt following fire outbreak that destroyed electoral materials. Beefing up security at INEC offices as ordered by IGP Mohammed Adamu will also help in safeguarding sensitive materials which cost the country huge amount of money to produce for the elections.

Every Nigerian irrespective of age, tribe and religion should be mindful of his or her actions during and after the elections. Nigerians should be law abiding and also support  the police and other security agencies in keeping the country safe for all of us. May God continue to strengthen, protect, and give IGP Mohammed Adamu all the necessary wisdom needed in providing security for all Nigerians.

– Itodo, a social researcher and public communicator wrote from Abuja

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