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Elections: Police promise absolute neutrality, professionalism

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The Deputy Inspector-General of Police (DIG), Mr Anthony Ogbizi, has assured the people of Enugu state that the police personnel deployed in the state for Saturday’s poll will demonstrate absolute professionalism and neutrality in the discharge of their duties.

Ogbizi, who is in-charge of the Force Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department and the South-East for the elections, gave the assurance on Tuesday in Enugu during a stakeholders’ meeting on election security.

He said that he was in the state to maintain the existing peace and ensure the peaceful conduct of the elections in the area.

“I am also here to assure you of the resolve by the police authorities and the Federal Government to ensure free and fair elections.

“We have deployed two additional commissioners of police to two senatorial zones in the state as well as deputy and assistant commissioners of police to the three senatorial zones,” he said.

Ogbizi said that adequate security measures had been put in place by the police, other sister-security agencies and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for a peaceful exercise.

He advised the residents of the state to come out en mass and cast their votes without fear of molestation.

He also advised them to report any threat to security to the nearest security agency or police station.

The police boss urged traditional rulers and community leaders to advise their youths to be law abiding and shun all forms of violence before, during and after the elections.

“I will also applaud the sister-security agencies in the state for the robust synergy with the police and I promise that the collaboration will improve,’’ he said.

The Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in the state, Dr Emeka Ononamadu, said that INEC was adequately prepared for the elections.

Ononamadu said that the commission had distributed all non-sensitive materials to all the places they were required.

“We want stakeholders to abide by the rules of election as well as embrace peace in all ramifications.

“I believe that with the active cooperation of all the stakeholders, we can conduct the best election among the 36 states of the federation,’’ the REC said.

Earlier, the new Commissioner of Police in the state, Mr Sulaiman Balarabe, said that the meeting was organised to enable the DIG to interact with the security stakeholders in the state.

The Chairman of Enugu State Traditional Rulers’ Council, Igwe Lawrence Agubuzu, said that the state had remained very peaceful.

“We have been praying seriously and I sincerely believe that at the end of the day, we will have a successful and peaceful elections in our state,’’ Agubuzu said.

Mr Solomon Akpanufot, a member of the Nigerian Policing Programme (NPP), urged the stakeholders to abide by the rules of engagement during the elections.

Akpanufot also urged security agencies to ensure greater synergy and cooperation among themselves before, during and after the exercise.

He said that NPP, a British High Commission’s project, was prepared for the polls, adding that the programme had done a lot in training police personnel for the elections.