ABUJA – The Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Mr Suleiman Abba, has expressed the belief that “it is better to cast vote, go and cool down, than to cast vote and remain in the polling station.
“If you remain, it is likely you will commit an offence. You may utter a word that the other person may perceive as intimidation’’, Abba said.
Abba expressed this opinion at a meeting of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), with accredited observers in Abuja on Thursday.
He urged stakeholders in the electoral process to conduct selves in a civil manner to guarantee peaceful general elections.
He said the orderly conduct of politicians, electorate, and other participants in the process, remained crucial to the success of the elections.
The IGP urged the electorate to refrain from unlawful activities at the polling units but to allow party agents to perform their roles.
He, however, urged political parties to avoid flooding polling units with multiple agents in order to avoid breakdown of order.
“I want to say that it is better you cast your vote and go and cool down than this idea of cast your vote and remain.
“If you remain it is likely you will commit an offence. You may utter a word that the other person may perceive as intimidation,’’ Abba said.
The IGP also urged party supporters to be patient for the declaration of results and avoid resorting to violence if not favoured.
“It is not a problem if you refuse to accept the result.
“Problem is if you resort to extra judicial activities. Then, you are engaging in activities that threaten the electoral process because only INEC can declare results’’, he said.
Abba said that any plan by any political party to declare results was an invitation to chaos and violation of the law.
“If you don’t accept the results declared by INEC at every level, the best you should do is to approach the tribunal’’, he said.
Abba also urged media professionals to avoid reporting messages that seemed to divide the politicians.
He further assured the country of the determination of the Police to abide by the law in discharging their duty during the polls.
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“We will be most loyal to the provisions of the law.
“We will be guided by these provisions in the exercise of our responsibilities in all the activities leading to the election and on the election day as well as in the days thereafter’’, Abba said.
Similarly, the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), expressed its readiness for the elections.
The Deputy Commandant General (Operations) NSCDC, Ewurum Evans, said the organisation was better equipped for the elections.
“We have adequately trained our personnel for the exercise. And some of the equipment that were lacking had arrived’’, he said.
Evans said NSCDC would deploy 20 sniffer dogs in each state of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
“We are going to deploy them in all strategic areas, including INEC headquarters and very important areas including some of the polling units and collation centers’’, Evans said. (NAN)