Bolaji Ogundele, Abuja and James Azania, Lokoja
The Inspector-General of the Nigeria Police, IGP Muhammed Adamu, has said security operatives on election duty in Kogi state will not hesitate to gun down any unauthorised person attempting to use firearm in any part of the state during the electioneering process.
The IGP sounded the warning in Lokoja on Tuesday during a stakeholders’ meeting/signing of peace accord among political parties and candidates, organised by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
The police chief, who spoke after the Chairman of the INEC, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, had delivered his address, also warned police men on guard duties with politicians not to allow to be used by politicians to perpetrate illegality on election day, warning that anyone caught roaming the street without proper authorisation would be arrested.
Adamu, who said the police was working with other security agencies, also warned that the police would be on the lookout for those who would be out on the Election Day to either buy or sell votes, warning that vote buying is a criminal offense.
He, however assured that the police would be professional, ready to provide a level playing ground for all parties and participants, adding that the police and other security operatives on election duty would protect all INEC and other election officials, as well as materials for the exercise, against attacks.
“Security agents are ready for this election. We pledge to be professional; we pledge to provide a level playing field to all participating parties. Every polling unit, INEC officials and materials, NYSC members and all that will be playing one role or the other shall be secured.
“While doing that, we will not tolerate people coming to buy or sell votes. Anyone caught will be arrested, kept out of circulation and be prosecuted. The collation centres will be protected so there will be no disruption.
“If you are armed, please report it to the police and surrender the arm now before it’s too late. If you are intending to use arms, be warned, if you are lucky, you will be arrested when you are sighted attempting to use it. If you are unlucky, you will be taken out before you succeed in using it,” the IGP warned.