Ahead of the gubernatorial election in Kogi and Bayelsa States, the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Solomon Arase has advised politicians planning one form of electoral malpractice or the other to desist or risk being ‘amputated’.
The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has announced November 21 and December 5 as dates for the gubernatorial elections in the aforementioned states.
Speaking at a meeting he held on Monday with Squadron Commanders at the Louis Edet House headquarters of the Nigeria Police, in preparation for the elections and other issues that affects the Force, Mr. Arase vowed that any attempt to compromise the integrity of the forthcoming polls would be severely dealt with.
Addressing the men, the IGP said: “Again, gentlemen, we are at the threshold of another election in Kogi and Bayelsa States scheduled to hold on 21 November, 2015 and 5th December, 2015 respectively. Our resolve and competence will once again be tested in this onerous assignment and we cannot afford to fail.
“As we drive the process, let me warn that any person that attempts to test the will of the Force by engaging in any act that negates the electoral law or engages in any crime with intent to derail or compromise the integrity of the exercise will be isolated and firmly dealt with.
Continuing, Arase said: “Anybody and politician who thinks that they can use the police to win election, I think they have a second thinking coming. They have to go to the field and go and contest, win the hearts and minds of the electorates.
“My own job is very easy, I am to provide a level playing field, emplace a robust security architecture that nobody will be able to test and I just mentioned it in my address, any politician who tests my will, will be severely dealt with, they will be amputated, I can assure you that”.
While calling on his officers and other sister security agencies that will be deployed alongside the police to situate their operations within the professional ethics guiding their code of conduct, Mr. Arase warned that any personnel found to be engaged in any act demeaning of their official callings, will face the music.
According to him: “I have also told my officers that if they make themselves available for any politician to use them and assault the electoral process, then severe disciplinary measures will be taken against you. The era of those things are already past, we are professional security managers and that is exactly what we are going to do”.
In direct response to the allegation by the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, whose candidates are seeking re-election in the two states that President Muhammadu Buhari gave a marching order to the security agencies and INEC to rig the election in favour of his party, the All Progresives Congress, APC, the police chief said nothing could be farther from the truth.
Alluding to the meeting called by Buhari with security agencies and INEC last week, the IGP said: “I can assure you that the president has not given us any order to compromise the result of the elections that will be conducted in the two states, instead, he has insisted that we must go and ensure that credible elections are conducted wherever it is going to be conducted and he repeatedly said it that he has been a victim of electoral manipulation and he cannot see himself now in this position supporting the same thing that has happened to him as a president”.