The Nigeria Police Force (NPF) has warned against disruptions during the governorship and state assembly polls on Saturday.
Ahead of the elections, there is heightened tension among political parties and their supporters, fuelling fears of election-day violence.
Police commands across different states have however assured Nigerians of adequate security as they troop out to perform their franchise.
SOUTH-EAST: ‘DISRUPTORS SHOULD BE READY TO DIE’
John Amadi, deputy inspector-general of police in charge of the south-east, on Thursday asked residents of the geopolitical zone not to “entertain any fears”.
“The police are there to protect the system,” he said during a briefing in Umuahia, Abia state capital.
“Anybody that wants to put himself into problem or [get] involved in thuggery would have himself to blame. Anybody that wants to snatch ballot boxes or disrupt the elections will be promptly dealt with.
“We have deployed our men to dominate all the areas that we think that trouble would erupt from. So we are sounding a note of warning to criminals and non-state agents that we would not tolerate anything that would not allow the people cast their vote and chose who they want to represent them.
“Anybody that wants to disrupt the system should be ready to die and anybody that wants to die should come out and disrupt the system. If you love your life keep away, cast your vote, go home and wait for the result.”
The police chief urged the Abia electorate to disregard any threat to stop the elections while stating that officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) will be adequately protected.
He pledged the readiness of the force to maintain neutrality during the polls, saying the police do not belong to any political party.
ZAMFARA: ‘IT’S AN ELECTION, NOT WAR’
The police command in Zamfara has cautioned politicians against seeing the elections as a do-or-die affair.
Kolo Yusuf, commissioner of police in the state, made the remarks when leaders of political parties signed a peace accord in Gusau, the Zamfara capital.
“I am happy that all critical stakeholders are here to endorse the peace accord,” he said.
“As security agencies, we want peaceful elections; we are after free, fair and credible elections. All security agencies in the state are ready for peaceful elections.
“We invited the leadership of political parties and the youth leaders because of their importance in the election process. We want our youths to remain peaceful before, during and after the elections.
“We want assurance from all political parties that they will control their youths and supporters; we want everyone to remain peaceful and avoid any act of violence. We are not at war; the election cannot be successful with violence.”
KOGI: ‘NO POLITICIAN SHOULD USE ARMED ESCORTS’
The Kogi police command has warned politicians against using armed security escorts during the elections.
Yekini Ayoku, the commissioner of police, gave the order during a stakeholder meeting in Ilorin, the capital of Kwara.
“On no account should any politician go about with armed men to polling units during Saturday’s House of Assembly elections in Kogi,” NAN quoted him as saying.
“Any politician who flouts this directive or order will be seriously dealt with in accordance with the law of the land.
“Although there wouldn’t be a governorship election in Kogi this time around until November, we are however not oblivious of the intense interest and passion that election into the state House of Assembly being the direct representatives of the people could generate.
“It is in view of this that I solicit your support and cooperation in working with the Police and other security agencies to ensure the election is conducted in an atmosphere of peace devoid of rancour and violence.
“All the security agencies in the state are working in close synergy and are uncompromising in providing the conducive security environment for the conduct of a free, fair and hitch-free election by INEC and for voters to exercise their franchise freely.
“The police command under my watch, leading other security agencies in election security management, is determined to remain neutral, apolitical, professional and will provide the level playing ground for all political parties and actors in the state.”
Usman Baba, the inspector-general of police (IGP), had earlier ordered quasi-security outfits to stay away from election-related activities nationwide.
The IGP also directed a restriction of vehicular movement between 12am and 6pm on Saturday.