Chris Ejike, the Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIG) in charge of Zone 4, has stated that more security personnel would be deployed to crisis-prone areas during Saturday’s governorship and state Houses of Assembly elections in Benue State.
Ejike also stated that the police would use lessons learnt from the presidential elections to better Saturday’s elections.
The AIG, who disclosed this during a stakeholders meeting held at the Police Officers’ Mess in Makurdi, also warned against electoral crimes on that day.
He also urged politicians and their supporters not to engage in actions that would be inimical to the success of the elections.
According to him, “Lessons that have been learnt in the presidential elections should positively impact on the next election to make it better. There are still no go areas in the elections. The restriction order must be strictly adhered to. We must stay with the rules guiding the elections.
“It is still an offense to engage in thuggery, vote buying, manipulation and so on. Forty-eight hours to elections, campaigns must stop. Don’t engage in provocative actions, and if you do, the police and other security agencies will apprehend you.
“If you notice increase in the number of those (security personnel) that have been deployed to your area, don’t worry as we are trying to ensure the right thing is done. And I trust that Benue being the food basket of the nation will have intimidation-free, credible and fair elections.”
The AIG, who stressed the need to continue to nurture the nation’s democracy, enjoined all stakeholders to join hands together to ensure that the electoral process is free from any form of intimidation.
“We cannot drag our democracy in thuggery. The electoral process must be free from intimidation. Collation centers have often become places where thugs perpetrate their evil. A situation where political parties indulge in armed thuggery will not be tolerated.”
Earlier, Benue State Commissioner of Police, Omololu Bishi, who adjudged the last presidential and National Assembly (NASS) elections as free of violence in the state, urged stakeholders to consolidate on it in the next election.