2019 Campaigns: Police Read Riot Act To Political Parties

Following the release of timetable and electioneering schedules for the 2019 general elections, the Nigeria police have read riot act to political parties and their candidates, warning them to conduct themselves in manners not capable of breaching the public peace.
The force urged all political parties and their candidates to abide by the Electoral Act and play according to rules, warning the political gladiators against engaging in thuggery as well as intimidation of opponents in the course of the campaigns or face the full weight of the law.
Jimoh Moshood, a Deputy Commissioner of Police and the Public Relations Officer, Force Headquarters, Abuja, in a press statement on Monday, noted that Ibrahim Kpotun Idris, the Inspector General of Police, has directed the Commissioners of Police in the 36 states of the federation and the FCT, as well as their supervisory Assistant Inspectors General of Police in the 12 zonal commands to protect and safeguard all campaign venues, rallies and other INEC approved electioneering activities of all the political parties throughout the country until the end of the campaigns.
The statement reads in part, “All political parties are, hereby, advised to abide by the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended) and INEC guidelines, and play the game according to the rules. They are to prevail on their flag bearers, members, supporters and fans not to engage in any act or conduct that can incite violence or disturbance of public peace anywhere in the country during the campaigns and beyond.
“Threat assessment and deployment of police personnel to flash points and vulnerable areas have been carried out to prevent and nip in the bud any form of inter-party frictions, political thuggery and clashes that can lead to disturbance of public peace anywhere in the country.
“The Commissioners of Police and zonal Assistant Inspectors General of Police throughout the country are under strict instructions of the IGP not to tolerate any form of political thuggery, intimidation, demonstration of violent conducts and over dramatisation of political fans that can precipitate political clashes and jeopardise prevailing peace in their commands from any political party or politician(s).”
Moshood explained that the Commissioners of Police have been directed to arrest any party member who is in possession of firearms or dangerous weapons, noting that the force would not condone hate speeches or defamation.
“Commissioners of Police are to arrest and immediately prosecute any party member or supporters in possession of firearms or dangerous weapons during political campaigns and rallies in their respective states.    
“The force will not condone hate speeches, indecent and criminal defamatory conducts from any individual(s) or group(s) that can cause threat to public peace and safety anywhere in the country during the campaigns and beyond. The full weight of the law will be applied on any individual(s) or group(s) arrested.
“The Commissioners of Police in the 36 states and the FCT are to continue the meetings of the Inter-Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security (ICCES) with INEC and other security and safety agencies on the implementation of the action plans and security arrangements for the 2019 elections.
“The IGP has equally warned all Commissioners of Police in all the state commands and the FCT, as well as other senior officers that have one role or the other to play in the implementation of the security arrangement for the 2019 elections not to engage in partisanship or bias but to remain focused and provide security for all throughout the period.
“Parents and guidance, traditional/religious leaders, public office holders are, hereby, implored to monitor their children, wards, subjects and adherents to be law abiding and resist to be used to cause disturbance of public peace and violation of law and order during the period of the campaigns and beyond.”

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