The Nigeria Police Force on Wednesday in Abuja said it had made plans to pay all officers on election duty three days before the polls.
ACP Frank Mba, Force Public Relations Officer, made this known at the 2019 Nigeria General Election Strategic Stakeholder Engagement organised by Murtala Mohammed Foundation in partnership with Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC).
Mba who was represented by CSP Al-Mustapha Sani, in the Force Public Relations Department said that the measure became imperative to properly cater for their welfare and avoid instances where the policemen “look out for help”.
“If you do not give a child food, definitely he will go out to look for food somewhere.
“That was why the Acting Inspector-General of Police, Adamu Mohammed directed that all allowances relating to election processes to every officer involved in the election must be paid before three days to elections.
“So by today they should all get their allowances paid not by raw cash but sent to their accounts .’’
Mba said that there were a lot of changes taking place in the force to ensure credible election adding that structurally, there were new commissioners of police on board.
He said that though some people were insinuating that the transfer and posting of police was politically motivated but it was not true because for the last three weeks there were vacancies and promotions that took place in the force.
He said that 18 commissioners of police were promoted to the post of Assistant Inspector general of police therefore; their commands had been without commissioners so definitely there would be promotion of deputy commissioners to the rank of commissioners.
Mba said that the Acting IGP has had series of meetings first with assistant and deputy inspector general of police because these were the officials that would supervise the commissioners of police .
He said that the force planned differently for the 2019 elections adding that every police officer deployed to every polling unit would have his identification number, his name, his phone number boldly written in the operation order.
This, he said would ensure that the official is responsible for anything that happens in his polling unit so anything wrong in that unit would be traced to him.
He added that no police officer would go to the poling unit with any raffle and that is applicable to all security agents adding that the idea was to remove any weapon of intimidation that might scare the electorates.
Dr Dahida Philips, Department of Public Administration, University of Abuja, in his lecture urged INEC to be an unbiased umpire because a free and fair and credible election depended on it.
Philips urged all multi-stakeholders to carry out their responsibilities creditably well without any fear or favour because the success of 2019 general elections would also determine the space of socio-economic development in Nigeria.
He called on them to encourage peaceful existence before, during and after the 2019 general elections
Mr Uge Timipanipre, Program Officer, National Democratic Institute (NDI) urged INEC to carry persons living with disability along by providing brail and magnifying glasses.
Timipanipre also called for accessible polling units for those on wheel chair and other enabling materials.
He urged security agents to work with INEC to arrest and prosecute all election offenders irrespective of status, political party or government position.
Mr Auwal Rafsanjani, Executive Director, CISLAC, said the meeting was imperative in order to leaverage on the leadership qualities of Murtala Muhammed in this electoral period.
Rafsanjani said this was because democracy would only flourish with leaders who have the qualities of Muhammed and hated corruption.
He urged politicians to desist from using youths as thugs for their selfish reasons thereby disrupting the electoral process.
Mrs Aisha Muhammed-Oyebode, CEO, Murtala Muhammed, said that the event was organsied to take stock of Nigeria’s electoral process and chart the way forward.
Muhammed said that it was to also stress the need for a participatory and transparent election because the process would not be complete without carrying everybody along.
She said that the foundation committed to the promotion of good governance, democracy and development in Nigeria and Africa.