The police will not tolerate any form of electoral violence in the November 11 off-cycle governorship election held in Bayelsa Kogi and Imo states, Kayode Egbetokun, the inspector-general of police (I-G), has warned.
Egbetokun issued the warning when he visited Governor Douye Diri of Bayelsa State on Monday, noting that the police and other security agencies were fully prepared and duty-bound to ensure free and fair polls. He warned that troublemakers would have the law to contend with.
The I-G assured that the police and other security agencies would be neutral before, during and after the exercise and enjoined Bayelsa people to have confidence in them.
He explained that the increased deployment of police personnel in the state was to forestall any form of violence during the polls.
He thanked Governor Diri for his support for the police in the state and assured him of adequate security before, during and after the election.
“You are aware that the election is just four days away. I assure you that the police, with the assistance of other security agencies, will provide adequate security on November 11.
“In Bayelsa and in Kogi and Imo elections will take place, I want to say with confidence that the police and other security agencies have taken a position to be neutral.
“However, those with the criminal intention to disrupt the election in Bayelsa will meet our men on the ground. They will have the whole of us to contend with,’’ Egbetokun told the governor.
Responding, the governor said the pledge of the I-G to provide adequate security for the election was an added advantage to the peace and security the state already enjoyed.
On the call by the police boss on Diri to appeal to his party supporters to be non-violent, the governor said PDP members and supporters were the most peaceful in the build-up to the election.
He said the government and the people of Bayelsa were ready to support the police to achieve zero violence during the poll.
Diri also noted that if a sitting president could lose and accept the outcome of an election without shedding blood, no one should toy with the lives of Bayelsa people because of an election.
He urged the people of Bayelsa not to be deterred by the large deployment of security personnel in the state or to allow it to lead to voter apathy.
He said the deployment should boost their confidence to cast their votes and be assured that their ballot would count and be protected.
“Your remarks are heart-warming and I like to quote you when you said the police will be neutral in this election on Saturday.
“I quote you again. You said the police and other security agencies are committed to a peaceful, free, fair and transparent election in Bayelsa. That is what our people want to hear, ” he said.