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DIG assures Northwest of peaceful polls

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[FILES] A woman checks her name in voting lists at the State INEC Independent Electoral Comission Office in Jimeta on February 16, 2019. Nigeria’s electoral watchdog postponed presidential and parliamentary elections for one week, just hours before polls were due to open. The two main political parties swiftly condemned the move and accused each other of orchestrating the delay as a way of manipulating the vote. Luis TATO / AFP

Deputy Inspector General (DIG) of Police charged with monitoring the elections in the Northwest, Aminchi Baraya, has told politicians to encourage their supporters to go out and vote tomorrow, as the police have put everything in place to ensure peaceful elections.

Addressing men of the Sokoto State Police Command yesterday, the DIG said that he was in the command to ensure that the level of preparedness before the postponement last week was still intact.

The police, according to him, are ready to provide the enabling environment for the electorate to cast their votes and return home peacefully.

Baraya observed that problems usually begin to manifest during the counting of votes and transportation of results, and charged the Divisional Police Officers (DPOs) to ensure that the police accompany Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) officials from the polling unit to the state headquarters of INEC.

“It is then you can ask some of your men to stand down. But for you, it is only when you have finished writing your report that you can have a little sleep in your office. I advise you to have a camp bed or a little mattress for this purpose,” he told the DPOs.

He reminded them of the new INEC guideline, which bars voters from taking their phones into the polling booth, and asked them to ensure strict compliance.

Meanwhile, the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR), Kebbi State chapter, has appealed to Nigerians to shun corruption for successful elections.

In a statement yesterday in Birnin-Kebbi, the acting chairman, Jamilu Magaji, noted dislodging corruption and hooliganism as moral responsibilities on all Nigerians, which would provide the enabling environment for voters to freely exercise their franchise.

“NIPR frowns at corruption, hooliganism and inciting statements that could overheat the polity. We believe that Nigerians from all walks of life have a moral duty to dislodge the menace, to exercise their franchise freely,” he said.

Expressing substantial confidence in INEC, he called on the electorate, local and international observers, the media and other stakeholders involved in the conduct of the elections to be neutral, to enable the electoral umpire to deliver on its constitutional mandate.

“Politicians should draw the attention of their supporters and warn against hooliganism, corruption, bribery and ballot box snatching. This would allow us to have peaceful and hitch-free polls across the federation,” he added.


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