The Police Service Commission (PSC) has called on the Nigeria Police Force to begin preparation for the Osun governorship election scheduled for September and the 2019 general elections.
A statement by the commission’s Head, Press and Public Relations, Mr Ikechukwu Ani, said the commission’s Permanent Secretary, Musa Istifanus, made the call on Monday in Abuja,
He said that Istifanus led an 8-man team from the commission to monitor the conduct of police deployed for the Ekiti governorship election.
Ani quoted the permanent secretary as advising the police to arrest any agent who committed an offence at the end of voting to avoid sending wrong impression.
See The full Statement below:
The Police Service Commission (PSC) rates the deployment and performance of the Police men on electoral duty in today’s (July 14th, 2018) governorship election in Ekiti State as highly commendable. However the Police Service Commission wishes to state that it does not monitor election, rather the conduct of the police men deployed for electoral duties to ensure that they maintain neutrality, law and order in a civil manner and ensure safe passage for all electorates. Essentially, no Policeman should be seen within the vicinity of the polling units with arms, horsewhips or any other weapon that may intimidate voters.
The Commission’s team, which was led by its Permanent Secretary, Musa Istifanus, monitored the conduct of the Police officers in 45 polling units in all the three Senatorial zones of the state covering 14 out of the 16 local government areas of the State. Although there were few cases of disorder in some isolated units, the Police and the complimentary security Agencies ensured that the election was peaceful and orderly. The Polling Units were manned by an average of four police men and complimented by men of the Civil Defence Corps, Nigerian Customs and Nigerian Immigration Service. Major junctions in the State capital and local governments were manned by Mobile Police Men while the Men of the Nigerian Army maintained security at the entry and exit points of the State. There were also armed security personnel that patrolled all the major roads in the State. No armed security personnel were seen within the vicinity of any of the 45 polling units monitored by the Commission.
The team received 35 complaints from the voters, party agents and observers through dedicated lines earlier circulated to both the electorates and party agents within Ekiti and outside the State.
Some of the messages centred on vote buying, financial inducement and restiveness in some polling units. Specifically, there was a case of the arrest and detention of party agents at Aramoko Police Division which was resolved with the intervention of the Commission. The Commission wishes to advice that the Police, in such instances where an agent commits an offence, he/she be allowed to carry out his legal duties and be arrested at the end of the voting, counting and signing of the result sheet in order to avoid sending a wrong impression that the Security agencies may be biased.
In the Central Senatorial District, the PSC team visited 18 polling units in the five local government areas. Some of the Units visited were Surajudin 1 and 2, ; Dalimo Estate, all in Ado local government; Ayelabola and Iyin1 and 2 in Iredpodun/Ifelodun Local government; St. Stephens Primary school, Aramoko,, Isao II in Falowo and Esan in Erio ward, all in Ekiti West Local Government. Other polling units visited in the Senatorial Zone were Itaido,, Alagba Meson and St, Peters Primary School, all in Efon and Stadium Health Center in Ijero Ward D5 in Ijero local government Area.
In Ekiti North Senatorial Zone, the team visited Saw Mill, Aderiye in Ido-Osi local government, Chief Oye’s house, Odo Ayo in Ikole Local Government and Igbona Isolo, Court Hall offa, Oke-Okim, Ilomo II, New Market and Town Hall Units in Oye, Ilejemeje and Moba local government areas.
In the South Senatorial Zone, the PSC team visited Emure, Ise/Orun,, Ekiti South West and Ikere local governments of Ekiti State.
PSC team Leader, Mr. Istifanus, commended the Coordinator of the security operations for the elections, DIG Habila Joshak and his team for the effective policing of the state during the election. He was particularly impressed with the quick response to all complaints received through the Commission’s dedicated telephone lines forwarded to him and his team for resolution. He further advised that the Police should begin now to plan for the up-coming Osun Governorship election and the success of the 2019 general election.