The Inspector General of Police (IG) Mohammed Adamu on Sunday read the riot act to politicians in Edo and Ondo states to ensure they play by the rules in the forthcoming gubernatorial elections in the two states or be ready to face the full weight of the law.
The police chief who lamented that politicians in the two states were already overheating the polity by their actions and utterances said anybody that attempted to sabotage the security arrangement being emplaced for the elections, would be severely dealt with irrespective of status.
IGP Adamu in a statement by the Force Public Relations Officer, Frank Mba also observed that politicians were already arming and moving thugs in order to unleash violence before, during and after the elections.
The statement which noted that the IGP’s views were coming after review of election security threat assessment report submitted by the Commissioners of Police in Edo and Ondo States, said the police were however ready to ensure security of lives and property in the affected states.
Apart from the arming and movement of thugs; other threat indicators included the use of inciting statements during political campaigns, high likelihood of violence and possible cross attack by political opponents, misinformation/disinformation aimed at heating-up polity and deliberate efforts at delegitimising government institutions involved in the electoral processes.
Adamu further said the police would not tolerate actions capable of undermining the electoral process in both states.
He said protection of the ballot was sacrosanct and that the Commissioners of Police in both states have been ordered to rejig their preparations for the elections to accommodate and address the threats and emerging trends as contained in the security report.
“He noted that the Force leadership is evolving customised security architecture to protect the people and ensure hitch-free elections.
“The IGP however warns politicians and their supporters in Edo and Ondo States that the Force will not hesitate to bring the full weight of the law on anyone or group, irrespective of status that may want to sabotage the security arrangement being emplaced for the elections.
“The IGP assures Nigerians, particularly the people of Edo and Ondo States that the Force remains committed to protecting the sanctity of the ballot in the country.
‘’He reiterates that the police will be neutral, apolitical and will work assiduously with all stakeholders in ensuring a level playing ground for all in the elections,” Mba stated.