Written by NAN

Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), has called on the Nigerian Police to enforce the no-movement order on politicians and government officials with armed personnel during Saturday supplementary elections in the states of Abia, Imo and Taraba.

INEC chairman Attahiru Jega said that a situation in which high profile politicians moved around with bodyguards, convoy and armed personnel, not necessarily security personnel probably private armed personnel had to be stopped.

In talks with acting inspector general of police, Solomon Arase, on Friday, Jega said most of conflicts that occurred on election days were attributable to these kinds of engagements.

“Obviously, some of the challenges we face in the past are associated with the refusal of the political actors, candidates and party and government officials to respect the rules of the game.

“I will like to urge you to particular pay attention to the phenomena of either government officials or candidates or leading politicians moving around on Election Day.

“Two states in particular, Imo and Abia, these phenomena were largely responsible for the crisis that we had during the governorship and presidential elections.

“or these supplementary elections, we will like every politician to respect the rule of the game and to obey the non-movement order on election date,” Jega said.

The chairman said that the commission had put in place appropriate measures to ensure that the supplementary elections were successful

He said that INEC had deployed key personnel from the headquarters, including three National Commissioners and Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs) to each of the states where there would be supplementary elections.

“In addition to the National Commissioners and the RECs, we have also deployed at least one supervisory staff from the headquarters to each of the wards in these states.

“We are going to be very meticulous also in monitoring what goes on in the field, pay attention to our staff and ad-hoc staff to ensure that they discharge their responsibilities impartially, competently and professionally.

Earlier in his speech, the Acting IGP said that the Police was doing everything practically possible to create an enabling environment for the Saturday elections.

He said that the force would not allow anybody to cause a breakdown of law and order in any of the states where supplementary elections would be held.

Arase said that the force had already done massive deployment of its officers, including Deputy Inspector Generals of Police, Assistant Inspector Generals of Police and Commissioners of Police, to oversee the elections in Yobe, Taraba and Imo.

“They are under strict directive that this time, whatever lapses we have noticed in the previous elections will not be tolerated this time around.

“i am going to hold them personally liable if they allow any breach or infringement of the rules and what we have told them to do,’’ Arase said.

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