Police performance in election highly commendable, says PSC
The Police Service Commission (PSC) has described the performance of its officers and men assigned to Ekiti State as highly commendable.PSC spokesman, Ikechukwu Ani, said they were not deployed to monitor the election, but to be neutral in their enforcement of law and order in a civil manner.He said: “Essentially, no policeman was seen within the vicinity of the polling units with arms, horsewhips or any other weapon that could intimidate voters.”
The police team, which was led by PSC’s Permanent Secretary, Musa Istifanus, said they monitored the conduct of police officers in 45 polling units in 14 of the 16 local council areas.He disclosed that there were few cases of disorders in some isolated units, adding that the police and other security agencies ensured that the election was peaceful and orderly.He explained: “The polling units were manned by an average of four police men, and were complimented by men of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) and the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS).”
The PSC disclosed that major junctions in Ado Ekiti, the state capital and local government councils were manned by Mobile Policemen, while the men of the Nigerian Army maintained security at the entry and exit points in the state.
“There were also armed security personnel who patrolled all the major roads in the state. No armed security personnel were within the vicinity of any of the 45 polling units monitored by the commission.
“The team received 35 complaints from the voters, party agents and observers through dedicated lines. The lines had earlier been circulated to the electorate and party agents within Ekiti and outside the state,” he said.
According to him: “Some of the messages centred on votes’ buying, financial inducement and restiveness in some polling units. Specifically, there was a case of the arrest and detention of party agents at Aramoko Police Division, which was resolved with the intervention of the commission.He said where an agent committed an offence; the police had the power to arrest such at the end of the voting, counting and signing of the result sheets.
This, he said was necessary to avoid sending a wrong impression that the security agencies might be biased.Istifanus commended the coordinator of the security operations, DIG Habila Joshak for the effectively policing the state during the election.