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Edo, Ondo guber polls could be violent, IGP raises alarm

…Accuses politicians of stockpiling arms

Despite the call by concerned Nigerians for a peace accord to be signed and upheld by the various actors in the September 19 and October 10 governorship elections in Edo and Ondo states respectively, the Nigeria Police Force has indicated the two elections could be riddled with violent acts

The Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, who raised the alarm in a statement issued by the Force Public Relations Officer, DCP Frank Mba, on Sunday also alerted Nigerians of the ongoing arming and movement of thugs by politicians in preparation for the elections

The IG disclosed that the Election Security Threat Assessment Reports submitted by the Commissioners of Police from the two states on August 25 strongly indicated the use of inciting statements during political campaigns.

He said the report also revealed a high likelihood of violence and possible cross-attack by political opponents as well as misinformation and disinformation “aimed at heating-up the polity and deliberate efforts at drawing government institutions to be involved in the electoral processes

“The Election Security Threat Analysis reveals among other indicators: arming and movement of political thugs, use of inciting statements during political campaigns, high likelihood of violence and possible cross attack by political opponents, misinformation/disinformation aimed at heating-up of the polity and deliberate efforts at de legitimizing government institutions involved in the electoral processes,” he said.

The IGP however warned politicians and their supporters to desist from any act of violence, and conduct themselves properly by playing according to the rules, and steer clear of tendencies capable of undermining the electoral process in the two states

Expressing Force readiness for the polls, the IG ordered the commissioners of police in the two states to rejig their preparations for the elections and address the threats and emerging trends as contained in the security report.

He disclosed that the force was “customised security architecture” to protect the people and ensure hitch-free elections”, adding that the Force would 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

He reiterated that the police would be neutral, apolitical, and “will work assiduously with all stakeholders in ensuring a level playing ground for all in the elections.”

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