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“Anyone That Wants To Disrupt Elections Should Be Ready To Die” – Police Warns Nigerians



The Nigeria Police Force has warned citizens against disrupting the governorship and state assembly elections on Saturday.

"Anyone That Wants To Disrupt Elections Should Be Ready To Die" - Police Warns Nigerians

The governorship elections, according to the timetable released by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), will be conducted in 28 of the 36 states of the country.

There will be no governorship elections in eight states – Anambra, Bayelsa, Edo, Ekiti, Imo, Kogi, Ondo, and Osun—as they are now off-season.

The INEC shifted the election from March 11 to March 18, to enable it to reconfigure the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BIVAS).

Ahead of the rescheduled date for the polls, there have been reported cases of violence in many states as governors seeking re-election and opposition candidates challenging them engaged in fierce clashes to control their states.

Police commands across different states have however assured Nigerians of adequate security as they troop out to perform their franchise.

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South-East: ‘Disruptors Should Be Ready To Die’

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.”

The police chief urged the Abia electorate to disregard any threat to stop the elections while stating that officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) will be adequately protected.

He pledged the readiness of the force to maintain neutrality during the polls, saying the police do not belong to any political party.

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Zamfara: “It’s An Election, Not War”

The police command in Zamfara has cautioned politicians against seeing the elections as a do-or-die affair.

Kolo Yusuf, commissioner of police in the state, made the remarks when leaders of political parties signed a peace accord in Gusau, the Zamfara capital.

He said, “I am happy that all critical stakeholders are here to endorse the peace accord. 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.”

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Kogi: “No Politician Should Use Armed Escorts”

The Kogi police command has warned politicians against using armed security escorts during the elections.

Yekini Ayoku, the commissioner of police, gave the order during a stakeholder meeting in Ilorin, the capital of Kwara.

“On no account should any politician go about with armed men to polling units during Saturday’s House of Assembly elections in Kogi,” NAN quoted him as saying.

“Any politician who flouts this directive or order will be seriously dealt with in accordance with the law of the land.

“Although there wouldn’t be a governorship election in Kogi this time around until November, we are however not oblivious of the intense interest and passion that election into the state House of Assembly being the direct representatives of the people could generate.

“It is in view of this that I solicit your support and cooperation in working with the Police and other security agencies to ensure the election is conducted in an atmosphere of peace devoid of rancour and violence.

“All the security agencies in the state are working in close synergy and are uncompromising in providing the conducive security environment for the conduct of a free, fair and hitch-free election by INEC and for voters to exercise their franchise freely.

“The police command under my watch, leading other security agencies in election security management, is determined to remain neutral, apolitical, professional and will provide the level playing ground for all political parties and actors in the state.”

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Kano: “Don’t Doubt Our Capacity”

The clashes between the supporters of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and their New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP) counterparts have created apprehension in Kano State.

The security situation going into the election has been heightened by allegations and counter-allegations from the two leading political parties.

The state police command had earlier disclosed that it has good intelligence that some “disgruntled” politicians had concluded plans to import thugs into the state to disrupt the election.

Although the police did not mention the party the politicians belong to, both APC and NNPP have continued to blame each other.

Both parties have also continued to trade allegations over plot to rig the election, with the NNPP accusing the DSS of working for the APC while the APC said the grand plan of the NNPP was to disrupt the election process as soon as it realised it was losing.

Briefing journalists on Thursday, CP Muhammed Usaini Gumel, who was deployed to oversee Saturday’s election, reiterated that the police were ready to ensure the peaceful conduct of the election.

The “Inspector-General of Police before my arrival deployed reasonable assets and operational equipment to the state, and on this, we are good to go in the use of all these anti-riot gadgets and we have the capacity to quell any act of mayhem by anybody who has the feeling that he or she can subdue the election process,” CP Gumel said.

He said the police have also undertaken security threat analysis and upscaled the level of preparation for the election across all the polling units at the local government areas of the state.

“And we are fully prepared to emplace the requisite strategies toward managing the identified threats,” he added.

He called on residents to ignore “the rumour of insecurity being peddled and instead, prepare for a massive turnout at polling units to cast their votes for persons of their choices freely and unmolested.”

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‘Stay Off Rivers Election’

In Rivers State, troublemakers have been warned to stay away from the Saturday governorship and house of assembly elections in the state.

The AIG in charge of elections in the state, Kayode Egbetokun, said the police will deal decisively with anybody that tried to foment trouble during the election.

“We are fully prepared for this election and full deployment of our men has been made to ensure a hitch-free election. I want to use this opportunity to warn troublemakers to stay off as the police will deal with anybody that will cause trouble during the election,” he said.

In the meantime, five political parties have alleged connivance between INEC and the state government to rig the election in favour of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

Briefing journalists on Wednesday, the parties vowed to resist any form of rigging and warned the INEC to remain truly independent on Saturday.

The parties are the All Progressives Party (APC), Accord Party, National Rescue Movement (NRM), Action Alliance (AA) and African Democratic Party (ADC).

But the PDP in the state has described the accusations by the five candidates, including that of the APC, Tonye Cole, as “the banter of half-wits who are busy quarrelling with even the air that they breathe while they quarrel with their tools.”

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Kaduna; “Hoodlums Should Steer Clear”

In Kaduna, the police command convened a state-wide meeting with all strategic officers and charged them with the responsibility of ensuring strict adherence to the rules of engagement for the successful conduct of Saturday’s polls.

The Commissioner of Police on election duty in the state, Sunday Babaji, stated this while briefing newsmen on the preparation for a hitch-free election across the state.

He warned that any group of hoodlums planning to undermine the election must steer clear to avoid severe consequences, as the security forces are ready to deal decisively with lawbreakers no matter their position in society.

Babaji also urged all residents of voting age to come out on Saturday and cast their votes for the candidates of their choice without any fear of intimidation, promising to provide adequate security for them.

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Borno Police Well Prepared—PPRO

In Borno, the opposition PDP has alleged that the ruling APC is planning to cause mayhem and snatch ballot boxes in the state.

The state publicity secretary, Amos Adziba, in a statement, said: “The APC’s plan and strategy is to cause mayhem, and snatch ballot boxes in its usual desperate and ungodly moves, to win elections at all costs, not minding the afflictions and inflictions visited on anybody that stands in their way.

“This is why it has become necessary to draw the attention of the police commissioner, the military commanders, and the leadership of the respective security agencies,” he said.

But in a swift reaction, the state secretary of the APC, Bello Ayuba, dismissed the allegations as baseless, unfounded and far from the truth, adding that the PDP is already jittery, knowing that it will be rejected by the electorate.

“The PDP has no ground as far as Borno State is concerned. As we are talking now, I’m sitting here to receive the whole PDP local government structure of Bayo local government and the same is happening at the local government of the deputy governor,” he said.

However, the police public relations officer, Mohammed Shatambaya, assured that the police are well prepared to provide adequate security for people before, during and after the election in the state.

KanyiDaily recalls that the inspector-General of Police (IGP), Usman Baba had ordered the restriction of vehicular movement during the governorship and house of assembly elections.

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