The Inspector General of Police, Abubakar Adamu, has assured Nigerians of adequate protection of lives and properties before, during and after the forthcoming 2019 general elections across the country.
Adamu said not less than one policeman would be positioned in each of the polling units or polling booths and would be supported by other sister security agencies or operatives, stressing that Military personnel would be strategically positioned to counter any problem that may arise as well as being involved in patrols too.
He gave the assurance in Minna, the Niger State capital, while speaking through the Deputy Inspector General of Police in charge of the North Central Zone, comprising Benue, Kogi, Kwara, Nassarawa, Niger and Plateau States Police Commands and the FCT Command, Abuja, Godwin Chijioke Nwobodo.
Speaking further about the forthcoming 2019 elections, he said: “We have been doing this thing since 1999 and we have been succeeding.
“And for the purpose of the elections, we have trained our Officers and Men in various Seminars and Workshops and in so many other places.
“Trainings have been held across the length and breadth of Nigeria in order to prepare our personnel for this elections.”
The IGP, however conceded that providing security for the conduct of the elections was not what the police can do alone, adding that the Police High Command had also elicited the supports and cooperation of the Military and other security agencies.
Adamu said: “We have trained together with them because we know there is a degree of manpower deficit within the Nigeria Police Force.”
He added that those gaps that were left would be filled by other security agencies, stressing: “At least we are going to have not less than one policeman in each of the polling booths and our polling units in Nigeria will be supported by other security agencies or operatives of other security agencies while the Military is also going to be involved in the elections duties and they would be strategically positioned to counter any unforeseen problems and I am sure they would also be involved in patrols as well.”
Adamu advised politicians, especially those who are vying for elective positions on the platforms of the various registered political parties and their party members and supporters in the ongoing transition period, not to allow the forthcoming elections to be turned into a battle amongst themselves as patriotic citizens
Accordingly, he said: “We have been having elections in this country since Nigeria got her independence from the British Colonial Masters in 1960.
“In view of this, we have the right to choose our leaders and should see the forthcoming 2019 general elections as something important.
“If you also remember one of the stanzas in our national anthem, that we should remember our heroes past and not to allow their labour to be in vain.
“Therefore we should tell all that care to listen not to use elections to destroy Nigeria.
“I want to say also that the Nigeria Police Force is not a political party.
“I always tell fellow compatriots that the Nigeria Police Force is an Institution that is over 100 years old and at critical periods in this country the police have pulled the country almost from disintegration.
“And as an institution, we will not allow anybody to derail this country because we in the police are stakeholders too.
“We are also citizens.
“We have our families here.
“Therefore, the 2019 elections should just be allowed to be elections.
“It cannot be war because we will not allow it to be war and we also want to warn the politicians, that even though they are our leaders, but we are an institution also and we have a role to play.
“I would implore them not to allow us to do one or two things if they do not play the game according to the rules of the game.
“And I won’t say more than that.”