Police host politicians, security chiefs, call for free, fair polls
Ahead of the Anambra State governorship polls, the State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Garba Baba Umar, yesterday hosted representatives of the 37 political parties and security chiefs in the state, stressing the need for all stakeholders to play according to the rules.
Addressing the gathering at the police command headquarters, Amawbia, Umar urged the political parties to sign a peace accord, committing themselves to peaceful conduct during and after the election.
He warned that to do otherwise was to risk breakdown of law and order that could aggravate the tense security situation in the state.
He said: “The police have every security strategy to ensure that the election is violence-free. The police are equally partnering other security agencies to guarantee a hitch-free election in Anambra State on November 18, 2017. We are not going to leave any stones unturned to ensure we live up to our name as umpire.”
He observed that defacing and destruction of posters and billboards was prevalent and warned politicians and their agents to desist, saying the trend was capable disrupting conduct of the poll.
He said that clashes during campaign tours were unacceptable, and stressed the need for parties to notify the police ahead of planned campaign visits to avoid conflict.
Furthermore, he warned that there should be no hate speeches from any of the candidates or casting of aspersions on other candidates, urging people to be guided by decorum and maturity.
He promised that additional meetings would be held with the stakeholders, noting that police escorts would not be allowed on the day, and that no escort would be allowed to bear arms.
Also speaking, the state sector commander, Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Mr. Sunday M. Ajayi, advised politicians not to see the exercise as a do or die affair but as a game where there would always be a winner and a loser.
The administrative secretary, Obiano Campaign Organisation of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Dr. Prodimus Odilli, who represented his party at the meeting, told journalists: “APGA has always cautioned its members on the need to eschew violence before, during and after the election.”
He commended the police force for convening the meeting, saying it had chosen a most appropriate time to sensitise participants, adding: “To all politicians in Anambra State, there is no sacrifice too little to make for peace. ”
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