By Aminu Garko
Minna – The Police in Niger have warned political parties and their candidates against provocative campaigns and acts capable of breaching peace in the build-up of the Nov. 30 Local Government Election in the state.
The state Commissioner of Police, Alhaji Adamu Usman, gave the warning at a meeting with head of security agencies, leaders of political parties and stakeholders on Thursday in Minna.
Usman said that political parties and candidates were expected to conduct themselves in a manner that would promote peace to ensure implementation of Electoral process in the state.
He said that already effective operation order had since been issued to Area commanders and divisional police officers across the state on how to provide security before, during and after the elections.
”Politicians and supporters are not expected to carry offensive weapons during rallies, campaigns, pulling units, and collection centres.
”Thuggery, intimidation and demonstration of violent conduct will not be condoned during and after the elections in the state.
“As a political party or a member of the party, you are not expected to retain, organise, train, equip or procure persons or group of persons for the use or display of force and violence during campaign and elections.
“No hate speech, defamation and inciting statements. Campaign on religion or tribe should also be avoided.
”The ongoing campaign should be devoid of abusive languages directly or indirectly intended to injure religious, ethnic, tribal or sectional feelings,” the commissioner said.
Usman called on political parties and the candidates to work as a team to ensure peaceful conduct of the elections.
The police boss advised the parties to impress on their supporters to shun all kinds of violence before, during and after the election.
He reiterated the command’s commitment to provide level-playing field to all candidates.
In their separate remarks, Malam Hussain Adamu, a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) from Chanchaga Local Government Area, assured the readiness of the party and its candidates to a free, fair and peaceful elections.
”We have mobilize our supporters to shun violence and thuggery to ensure the victory of our candidates,“ he said.
Also, Alhaji Aminu Baba, the Chairman, State Independent Electoral Commission (SIEC), said that the commission would organise a free, fair and cridible election in the state.
”We have already equipped our field officers with the required electoral knowledge for the conduct of a transparent election.
Baba commended the police command for organising the meeting, adding that the gesture would facilitate the conduct of a peaceful poll.
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the meeting was attended by head of various security agencies in the state and representatives of political parties.
They include: NURTW, human right organisation, aspirants and officials of the state Independent Electoral Commission.