Ahead of the governorship elections in Edo and Ondo states, the Nigeria police say they have identified a high likelihood of violence, attacks by opponents, and misinformation as security threats to the polls.
The elections in Edo and Ondo states are scheduled to hold on September 19 and October 10 respectively.
The Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, however, warned politicians and their supporters to conduct themselves properly by playing by the rules.
He also advised them to steer clear of tendencies capable of undermining the electoral process in the two states.
According to a statement issued by the police spokesperson, Frank Mba, the police boss issued the warning having reviewed the election security threat assessment reports submitted by the commissioners of police from both states at a meeting held on Tuesday, August 25, 2020.
“The Election Security Threat Analysis reveals amongst other indicators: arming and movement of political thugs, use of inciting statements during political campaigns, high likelihood of violence and possible cross attack by political opponents, misinformation/disinformation aimed at heating-up of the polity and deliberate efforts at delegitimizing government institutions involved in the electoral processes.
“The IGP has therefore ordered the Commissioners of Police in the two states – Edo and Ondo – to rejig their preparations for the elections to accommodate and address the threats and emerging trends as contained in the security report,” Mr Mba said.
He noted that the police leadership is evolving customised security architecture to protect the people and ensure hitch-free elections.
He further stated that the police will not hesitate to bring the full weight of the law on anyone or group, irrespective of status, that may want to sabotage the security arrangement put in place for the elections.
Recall that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had warned that the fierce political tension brewing in Edo State may lead to a declaration of a state of emergency in the state, if not carefully managed.
INEC national commissioner and chairman, information and voter education committee, Festus Okoye, gave the warning at a meeting with heads of media organisations in Benin, the News Agency of Nigeria reported.