The Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Dahiru Abubakar has paid glowing tribute to the three Policemen – Inspector Johnson Aghedo, Inspector Isaac Aigbodukuku and Pc Odudukudu Gregory – who died in the course of the Edo state gubernatorial elections, when a boat hired by INEC to convey personnel and logistics to the riverine areas capsized causing the drowning of the officers and an INEC ad-hoc staff. He commiserated with their families, friends and dependants, assuring them that the Force will stand by them at this crucial time and beyond. He promised that the Force will put adequate measures in place to ensure that disasters of such nature never occur again.
The IG also on behalf of the Police High Command, commended the good people of Edo State for their peaceful conduct during and after the 14th July, 2012 Gubernatorial Election held throughout the State.
A statement by Frank Mba,spokesman for the Police Force headquarters said the IGP is particularly appreciative of the high level of discipline, orderliness, patience and understanding displayed by the people even in the face of some operational and logistic problems. He commended them for the immense cooperation accorded the Police and other sister security agencies which made the job of policing the elections much easier. This development, the IGP observed has given a ray of hope for the stability and growth of our democracy.
“It is the belief of the IGP that the exemplary comportment and conduct of the Edo People attest to the fact that power belongs to the people. It is also a confirmation of the age-long position of the Force that security is the task of everyone and that the responsibility of policing a nation should not be abandoned to the Police and the security agencies alone. One of the positive fall-out of the Edo State election is the clear message that the Nigeria Police can amicably and successfully work with the general public, in the discharge of its statutory responsibility of protecting life and property. This in itself, unequivocally points to the fact that our democracy has come to stay.
He added that Nigerians in all works of life, irrespective of geographical heritage, tribe and tongue, culture and tradition; are challenged to emulate and replicate, not just in political and election-related matters, but in all other spheres of life, the maturity displayed by the people of Edo State.
Abubakar equally commended officers and men of the Police, the military and other security agencies for their discipline, dedication and hard work in ensuring a most conducive environment for the peaceful and crisis-free conduct of the election. The remarkable synergy amongst the various security agencies is a clear indication of the new collective resolve and commitment of all law enforcement agencies to work together for the greater good of the nation.
He also observed with satisfaction the high level of professionalism displayed by personnel of the Nigeria Police Force during the election, noting that their performance has justified the huge resources invested in pre-deployment training, general capacity building and welfare of the personnel involved in the security management of the election.
The statement said the Police adopted a very proactive and methodological approach in policing the Edo elections. Extensive pre-deployment trainings aimed at instilling in the officers international best practices on security management of elections were conducted by the Force months before the poll. Massive deployment of logistics and personnel were put in place. The Force had a full complements of all its essential components – the conventional Police, the PMF, the Counter Terrorism Squad, the Marine Police, the Police Air wing, the Highway Patrol, the Bomb Disposal Squad, the Police Sniffer dogs and the Intelligence Unit, with DIG Marvel Akpoyibo providing overall supervision and leadership.
Meanwhile, the IGP has also reassured all Nigerians that all hands are already on deck to ensure that the modest success achieved in the just concluded Edo Poll by the Police and other security agencies is improved upon and replicated in the forthcoming gubernatorial election in Ondo State. He appealed to all the citizens of Ondo State, particularly the politicians to join hands with the Police in ensuring that the conduct of the State’s gubernatorial election surpasses the positive record already set by Edo election. He warned against all forms of lawlessness, stressing that the Police will stop at nothing in preserving the sanctity of electoral rules.
Finally, he restated the commitment of the Nigeria Police Force towards the protection of the fundamental human rights of every Nigerian, the rule of law and all essential democratic processes. This, the IGP believes, will promote peace and orderliness in the country thereby providing a conducive atmosphere for economic and other socio-political activities to strive unhindered.