Ensure Credibility Of Polls, Buhari Charges Security Agencies
President Muhammadu Buhari says he expects the police and other law enforcement agencies to ensure that the forthcoming general election is credible.
This isn’t the first time the president is making such a request to the police.
In 2022, the president said the police should be firm, professional, and loyal to the democratic values of the country during the general election.
Speaking on Monday during the launch of operational assets procured by the Nigeria Police Force, in Abuja, Buhari said he had high expectations of the Inspector-General of Police (IGP).
He also said the security agencies should be aware that they are being observed by the international community.
“You should, however, be reminded of my high expectations of your leadership, particularly, in relation to the provision of requisite security that will engender not just stable security space ahead of the general elections, but guarantee the credibility of the exercise,” he said.
“In this task, I call on the Inspector General of Police and indeed, all law enforcement agencies that will be complementing the police in the election security process to note that the eyes of the nation and the global community will be on you all.
“We are running a democratic system which is guided by the rule of law and the police worldwide is recognised as the most symbolic agency within the democratic governance and rule of law process.
“Therefore, any nation that is desirous of deepening her democratic credentials and advancing the course of rule of law must prioritize the efficiency of her police institution”, he added.
Speaking further, Buhari said his administration remained committed to ensuring free and fair elections.
“My pledge is to bequeath to the nation a democratic culture in which the police will not only be apolitical and impartial during the 2023 general elections, but also one in which the process will be peaceful and secure and the outcome truly reflective of the free will of the citizens,” he said.
“I renew the assurances of my firm trust in your leadership and unwavering support for the police.
“It is indeed, in demonstration of this that I recently approved the release of requisite funds to the Nigeria Police Force towards the continuation of the next phase in the annual recruitment exercise of 10,000 constables in line with extant Presidential approvals”, he stressed.
… Vote Buyers Attack EFCC Operatives In Kaduna
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) says its operatives were attacked in Kaduna on Saturday during the governorship and state houses of assembly elections held across the country.
In a statement on Saturday by Wilson Uwujaren, EFCC spokesperson, the commission said the operatives came under attack at School Road in Unguwan Rimi, Kaduna, while attempting to arrest a suspected vote buyer identified as Kabiru Musa.
Uwujaren said the suspect was seen in a video inducing voters by using his phone to transfer money into their accounts after they cast their votes.
“Immediately he was accosted by the operatives, Musa became unruly and screamed to attract the attention of his syndicate members, who descended on the operatives, using all manner of weapons that left some of them injured. It took great restraints for the operatives to ignore the unprovoked attack but insisted on arresting the suspect,” the statement reads.
“As the team drove away with the suspect, their vehicle was pelted with stones and other dangerous objects that damaged the windshield and three operatives suffered varying degrees of injuries in the process.
“The injured operatives are currently receiving medical attention at the Medical Centre of the Kaduna Zonal Command, while the suspect is in custody, pending conclusion of the investigation.
“It will be recalled that EFCC teams were similarly attacked during the presidential and national assembly elections, leaving some of its vehicles badly damaged.”
Reacting to the incident, Abdulrasheed Bawa, EFCC chairperson, commended the operatives for exercising restraint under extreme provocation.
He, however, appealed to the public to desist from attacking officers of the commission as it would no longer be tolerated.
Gov’ship/State Assembly Polls: EFCC Arrests 65 Suspects Over Vote Buying
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) says its operatives arrested 65 persons across the country over alleged voter inducement.
EFCC spokesperson, Wilson Uwujaren, announced the development on Saturday in a statement on the commission’s monitoring activities of the governorship and state houses of assembly elections across the country.
He said 20 of the suspects were arrested in Kwara, while 13 suspects were arrested in Kaduna state.
He added that 12 suspects were arrested in Rivers; four each in Akwa Ibom and Cross River, while others were apprehended in Gombe, Sokoto, Kebbi, and Niger states.
“Those arrested in Kaduna State were 10 males and three females. They were apprehended by EFCC operatives either working on intelligence reports or were chanced upon during monitoring,” the statement read.
“A suspect allegedly involved in vote buying was nabbed at School Road, Unguwan Rimi in Kaduna. The suspect, who initially resisted arrest, is however in custody pending the conclusion of investigation.
“Also in Kaduna, a team arrested a suspect with voter coupons, which he confessed would be used to trace and pay those who voted for his party”, the statement added.
The EFCC also said its team monitoring voting around Local Education Authority School, Kabala Doki in Kaduna, arrested two suspects for vote buying, while the sum of N67,500, a list containing names of voters and bank account details were recovered from the suspects.
“Some of the items recovered from the suspects were voter cards, monies, lists containing names and account details of voters, and telephone recharge cards,” he added.
Alleged Party Name Omission, NNPP Candidate Threatens Suit Against INEC
Olufemi Ajadi, the governorship candidate of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) in Ogun State, says the party will sue the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) over the “omission of the party’s name from ballot papers”.
Ajadi spoke with journalists on Saturday after casting his vote at Ofada, Obafemi Owode LGA of Ogun state.
The NNPP candidate said he was “disappointed” over the conduct of the governorship and house of assembly elections in the state.
Ajadi said the party had earlier written a letter to INEC to ensure the inclusion of his party’s name on the ballot paper, instead of only the logo.
“As you can see, we cannot see security everywhere. In my polling unit, where I cast my vote, the APC gathered hoodlums to attack me,” he said.
“I’m so disappointed in this country. I’m so disappointed about the leaders that we have. People can’t move around freely to the extent that they were dragging guns with my security. Can you imagine? No, this is not an election.
“On the ballot paper, I can’t see my party, the NNPP. After writing to INEC, to make amendment before the election and today is an election, we can’t find the name, only the logo.
“By the grace of God, we are going to court to challenge INEC on reasons why they failed to put our name on the ballot paper. I’m disappointed in INEC”, he lamented.
When The Tide source checked the list of political parties on INEC website, it was observed that the name of the party was not inscribed on the party’s logo.
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