By Aminu Garko
Minna – Police in Niger on Thursday warned politicians against political violence during and after the 2019 general elections in the state.
Commissioner of Police in the state, Mr Dibal Yakadi, gave the warning at a meeting with leaders of political parties in the state on Thursday in Minna.
Yakadi said that the caution became necessary because the command was committed to providing peaceful atmosphere for implementation of electoral process.
“We will not tolerate the use of weapons during and after electioneering campaigns.
“We have sufficient personnel to deploy to all political parties in providing adequate security during the ongoing political activities in our state.
“Police will arrest and charge to court any politician or youth caught with dangerous weapons and perpetrating violence,” he said.
The commissioner said that the command would not allow any politician or group of youths to carry arms before, during and after the elections in the state.
He added that the command had been proactive in responding to emergency calls across the state.
“We are fully prepared and committed to crisis-free general elections in Nigeria in 2019, in our area of supervision.
“We have put in place robust security measures in ensuring that the 2019 general elections go peacefully in Niger without threat to lives and property.
“I want to specifically advise parents to monitor the conduct of their children so as not to allow themselves to be used as political thugs in 2019.
“This will not be tolerated as sensitive security measures are already in place to guarantee peaceful implementation of the electoral process without hindrance.
“I wish to also solicit the cooperation of the public through the provision of timely and useful information to all divisions of the command with a view to help us respond to distress calls on time,’’ he said.
Yakadi also solicited the support of the media in sensitising residents to the fact that free, fair and credible elections would only be possible in a peaceful atmosphere.
The Resident Electoral Commissioner in the state, Prof. Samuel Egwu, disclosed that 403,428 Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) had yet to be collected in the state.
Represented by Hamid Yusuf, Head of Operations, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in the state, Egwu appealed to political parties’ leaders and stakeholders to mobilize persons yet to collect their PVCs to do so.
On their part, the political leaders and other stakeholders assured that they would ensure that there was peace during the elections.