Elections: Police warn against vote buying, electoral violence in Akwa Ibom

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Presidential election: What we'll do on Saturday - Nigeria Police
Presidential election What well do on Saturday Nigeria Police

The Nigerian Police, Akwa Ibom State Command, had warned perpetrators of election violence and those who intend to engage in vote buying or selling to steer clear of Akwa Ibom state as anyone caught in the act would face the full wrath of the law.

The Deputy Inspector General of Police, DIG Fredrick Taiwo Lakanu, issued the warning on Tuesday at Ikotakpanbia, Uyo, the State Police Command Headquarters, while briefing the press shortly after speaking with the men and officers of the command.

Lakanu, who is in charge of monitoring the election in South-South zone, said his visit to the Command was in line with IGP Mohammed Adamu’s directive that zonal Commanders should assess the level of police preparedness for the elections.

According to him, “Politicians are the problems during elections. I want to advise them to shun violence because we will deal decisively with anyone that would go against the law irrespective of status in the society.”

While reassuring that the police will continue to remain impartial, non-partisan before, during and after the exercise, Lakanu called for cooperation of all stakeholders. “We shall remain non-aligned and non-partisan while working to ensure that the election is peaceful and credible,” he said.

However, the newly-posted Commissioner of Police, Bashir Makama, had said politicians and the electorates should desist from buying, selling or canvassing for votes at polling units.

Makama, who stated this during a meeting with stakeholders of political parties, heads of security agencies and officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, said anyone caught indulging in such acts would be arrested by the Police.

He said the command had done everything possible to ensure free, fair and credible polls on Saturday, adding that political party leaders must build on that by controlling their supporters to ensure that peace reigns before, during and after the elections.

According to him, “As a command, we have done everything possible to ensure that peace reigns. Politics should be without bitterness and rancour, it is not a do or die affair.

“You must therefore behave yourselves at polling units because we will not tolerate any irresponsible behaviour. Any strategy you are adopting to win election, ensure that you adopt a transparent strategy. Canvassing for, buying or selling of votes is against electoral acts. Anybody seen doing this will be arrested.”

He also said wearing of political party insignia, blaring of siren and carrying phones within the polling units would not be tolerated.

“Don’t even come out with insignia, banners or anything that constitute a violation of the electoral act, you are advised because when you are caught I will arrest you. Anything that negates the electoral acts will not be condoned,” Makama said.

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