The Acting Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, on Tuesday warned would-be troublemakers for the next Saturday’s governorship and State Houses of Assembly elections to have a rethink.
According to him, security arrangement across the country has been enhanced to deal ruthlessly with thugs and trouble makers.
He spoke with State House correspondents at the end of security chiefs’ meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
He also said that security personnel have been increased for trouble spots identified during the Presidential and National Assembly elections.
Congratulating all Nigerians for the general peaceful conduct of the Presidential and National Assembly elections, IGP urged Nigerians to come out and vote next Saturday.
He said “We are all aware of the fact that we just concluded the presidential and National Assembly elections and we want to congratulate Nigerians for the peaceful conduct of the elections and we are prepared now for the governorship and the House of Assembly elections in the country.
“We’ll like every Nigerian to come out and cast his or her vote. The security arrangement we provided during the presidential elections is being enhanced so as to provide enabling environment for everybody to come out and cast his or her vote for their preferred candidates.
“We will again advise those that will want to disrupt the process to rethink because during the presidential election, we had some few challenges here and there, those challenges, we’ll not allow those challenges to repeat themselves. We are taking more security measures to address those pockets of challenges we noticed.
“So, thuggery again, is not allowed, ballot snatching is not allowed, disruption of the election process is not allowed. We, the security personnel have resolved to deal ruthlessly with anybody that attempts to disrupt the process of this election.
“For that reason, we expect, every states, the conduct of the election should be respected. We expect that electoral materials must not be tempered with; we expect that the INEC officials would do their work without fear or favour and without being allowed to compromise. The same thing, the security personnel are to perform their duties without allowing themselves to be compromised.
“So, we have heightened the security arrangement to make sure that the election goes without any hitch.” he stated
Asked if the police made any arrest of hoodlums disrupting the Presidential and National Assembly elections, he said “We’ve made a number of arrest all over the country but probably we shall come out with the number of arrest we have made in terms of those that disputed the process of the election in some areas within the country. We’ve a lot of arrest.”
On the special effort being put in place to ensure peaceful election in the trouble spots in the country, he said “Virtually, in Bayelsa and there are other states within that zone that we have taken notice of the fact that people there prone to violence so we have increased the number of security personnel that have been posted there.
“Also, we have increased intelligent outfit that has been posted there so as to help us identify those people that are trying to cause problem so that we can take them out of the environment before they cause the problem. Therefore, there is increase in security personnel.
On the allegation of militarization of the process by security agencies, he said “Well, as I said before, everybody, the lives of Nigerians are secured in terms of provision of adequate security to come out and vote. If you judge what you have said with the report of the international observers and local observers, you will see that both the local and international observers have adjudged the process to be peaceful.
“So pocket of challenges you get here and there did not affect the peaceful conduct of the elections. The process was peaceful and credible.”
Asked when those arrested would be prosecuted, Mohammed Adamu said “Investigation is ongoing. There is an investigative team that has been setup headed by the Commissioner of Police in-charge of legal, they are compiling the case files, they are investigating them. At the end of the investigation, the police in liaising with INEC will prosecute them.”
Asked the superiority of police or other security agencies at Polling Units, he said “Well, there is no superiority in terms of security agencies. We only talk of the role but when it comes to internal security, it is the police that is the lead agency other security agencies support the police in terms of internal security.”
Those at the meeting included the Chief of Defence Staff, General Gabriel Olonishakin, Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Yusuf Buratai, Chief of Naval Staff, Ibok-Ete IIbas, and Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadiq Abubakar.
Also present at the meeting were the National Security Adviser, Major Gen. Babagana Monguno, Director of National Intelligence Agency, the Director General, Department of Security Service.
The Minister of Interior, Abdulrahman Dangazzau and the Minister of Defence, Mansur Dan-Ali, were also at the meeting.