Ahead of the Saturday governorship and state assembly elections, the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) has issued warnings to agents of violence to stay away from disrupting the process.
In Lagos, Zamfara and some states in the south east, there are reports of heightened tension among political parties and their supporters, fuelling fears of election-day violence.
Police commands across different states have issued warnings to agents of violence and however assured Nigerians of adequate security as they troop out to perform their franchise.
Though, in Lagos, the police is yet to make any statement as of this report about tomorrow’s elections.
Police south east warn
John Amadi, deputy inspector-general of police in charge of the south-east, on Thursday asked residents of the geopolitical zone not to “entertain any fears”.
“The police are there to protect the system,” he said during a briefing in Umuahia, Abia state capital.
“Anybody that wants to put himself into problem or [get] involved in thuggery would have himself to blame. Anybody that wants to snatch ballot boxes or disrupt the elections will be promptly dealt with.
“We have deployed our men to dominate all the areas that we think that trouble would erupt from. So we are sounding a note of warning to criminals and non-state agents that we would not tolerate anything that would not allow the people cast their vote and chose who they want to represent them.
“Anybody that wants to disrupt the system should be ready to die and anybody that wants to die should come out and disrupt the system. If you love your life keep away, cast your vote, go home and wait for the result.”
He urged the Abia electorates to disregard any threat to stop the elections while stating that officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) will be adequately protected by police officers.
He said the police is ready to maintain neutrality during the polls, saying NPF does not belong to any political party.
Police in Zamfara—election is not a war
The police command in Zamfara has warned politicians not to see the elections as a do-or-die affair.
TheCable reports that the commissioner of police in the state,Kolo Yusuf, made the remarks when leaders of political parties signed a peace accord in Gusau, the Zamfara capital.
“I am happy that all critical stakeholders are here to endorse the peace accord,” he said.
“As security agencies, we want peaceful elections; we are after free, fair and credible elections. All security agencies in the state are ready for peaceful elections.
“We invited the leadership of political parties and the youth leaders because of their importance in the election process. We want our youths to remain peaceful before, during and after the elections.
“We want assurance from all political parties that they will control their youths and supporters; we want everyone to remain peaceful and avoid any act of violence. We are not at war; the election cannot be successful with violence.”