Perpetrators of election violence and people planning to engage in vote buying or selling have been advised by the Nigerian Police, Akwa Ibom State Command to stay clear of the state as anyone apprehended would be made to face the wrath of the law.
The warning was issued by the Deputy Inspector General of Police, DIG Fredrick Taiwo Lakanu, at Ikotakpanbia, Uyo, the State Police Command Headquarters.
He stated this on Tuesday during a press briefing shortly after speaking with the men and officers of the command.
Lakanu, who is in charge of monitoring the election in South-South zone, said his visit to the Command was in line with IGP Mohammed Adamu’s directive that zonal Commanders should assess the level of police preparedness for the elections.
“Politicians are the problems during elections. I want to advise them to shun violence because we will deal decisively with anyone that would go against the law irrespective of status in the society.”
While speaking on the take of police in the forthcoming election during and after the election he said, “We shall remain non-aligned and non-partisan while working to ensure that the election is peaceful and credible,” he said.
The Commissioner of Police, Bashir Makama, in his statement called on politicians and the electorates to desist from buying, selling or canvassing for votes at polling units.
Makama, who stated this during a meeting with stakeholders of political parties, heads of security agencies and officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, said anyone caught indulging in such acts would be arrested by the Police.
He stated that the command has put together effort toward free, fair and credible election on Saturday, February 16.
He further stated that political party leaders must ensure that they control their supporters to ensure that peace reigns before and after the elections.
“As a command, we have done everything possible to ensure that peace reigns. Politics should be without bitterness and rancour, it is not a do or die affair.
“You must, therefore, behave yourselves at polling units because we will not tolerate any irresponsible behaviour. Any strategy you are adopting to win the election, ensure that you adopt a transparent strategy. Canvassing for, buying or selling of votes is against electoral acts. Anybody seen doing this will be arrested.”
He also said wearing of political party insignia, blaring of the siren and carrying phones within the polling units would not be tolerated.
“Don’t even come out with insignia, banners or anything that constitute a violation of the electoral act, you are advised because when you are caught I will arrest you. Anything that negates the electoral acts will not be condoned,” Makama said.
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