2023: IGP Warns Police Officers Against Breaking Rules Of Engagement

Inspector-general of police Usman Baba has asked the officers and men of the Nigeria Police Force to abide by the rules of engagement guiding every police officer on election duties.

The IGP also assured Nigerians and the international community of the readiness of the force to ensure peaceful, free and fair election campaigns ahead the general elections.

Speaking at a conference with senior police officers in Abuja on Thursday, the IGP said: “in compliance with Sec. 94(1) of the Electoral Act 2022, INEC has confirmed that electioneering campaigns by all political parties would officially commence on 28th September, 2022. The import of this is that the national political space will soon become active and the possibility of increase in politically related offences may become heightened across the country.

“As the lead security agency in the election security process, the political campaigns security governance is, primarily, the statutory obligation of the Nigeria Police Force.

⁸“In this regard, I must remind you that the provision of the requisite professional leadership to achieve our election security mandate rests squarely on the shoulders of all of you that are here seated. In the performance of this strategic responsibility, the Electoral Act 2022 and the code of conduct and rules of engagement for security personnel on electoral duty which was issued in 2020 by the Inter-Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security (ICCES) must remain our guide.

“To this end, I assure all citizens and the international community of the optimal preparedness of the Nigeria Police Force to support the Independent National Electoral Commission in ensuring a peaceful electoral process that will manifest in a credible outcome of the 2023 general elections.”

He charged the officers to be apolitical and neutral, noting that in the performance of their roles, they are expected to maintain an oath of neutrality in accordance with the electoral Act. He urged them to always at alert during the electoral security deployments and, exhibit a high degree of professionalism and fairness in dealings with all parties.

“We are also expected to adopt a professional orientation that emphasises democratic values, and respect for human rights and dignity, while being mindful of the duty imposed on us by the law to protect all electorates against illegal acts and dispense our duties without discrimination,” he said.

The IGP also urged political actors to play by the rules, while urging the media to support the Nigeria Police Force in ensuring a hitch-free 2023 elections.

According to him, “I wish to firmly advise all political actors to subsume their campaigns within extant legal frameworks, avoid actions or speeches that could inflame the political order and above all, cooperate with the Police in our drive to guarantee a peaceful electioneering process.

I also wish to sternly warn elements whose perception of democracy is the application of violence to have a rethink as the Nigeria Police under my watch is committed to dealing firmly with such characters within the dictates of the law.

“I particularly acknowledge the critical role of the media in this process and specifically encourage all media practitioners to place national security interests above other sentiments and avoid projecting news items that could engender tension and violence within the political space as the political campaigns commences,” he added.

Written by Grandbros

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