Ahead of the September 28 governorship election in Edo State, the Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Ibrahim Idris, on Friday directed officers of the force to be wary of officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission and arrest any staff who attempts to interfere with the electoral process.
Idris, who spoke during his first official visit to the state, explained that the over 25,000 personnel who would be deployed for the poll must ensure that sensitive materials must be accompanied by security agents, as the INEC personnel may constitute a problem during the election.
He said, “Put your eyes on even the INEC officials; I am serious, any of them that tries to tamper with the electoral process. This is outside their call of duty. As policemen, you have the right to arrest them and inform your commissioner of police.
“Most of the abuses of office by electoral officials, even the previous ones, we have to take care of them because, if you do not take time, the electoral officials may even cause some sort of problem.
“Sensitive electoral materials must be accompanied by security agents. So if you see any official moving without police security, that one is on his own and he has to answer for it.”
The IGP said that though the forthcoming poll was a serious challenge for security agencies, the collation of results was the most challenging part of the exercise. He. Therefore, urged policemen to be vigilant.
He, however, said that policemen stationed at polling units will not be armed in order not to intimidate the voters.
“Be civil to members of the public. Do not harass them too much,” the IGP added.
Idris assured of plans to provide adequate security for all stakeholders in the exercise.
According to him, there would be a reinforcement of 220 vehicles to ensure unhindered movement of security operatives.
He also assured that the financial welfare of officers on duty would be provided by the Federal Government and paid into their personal accounts.