The Inspector General of Police, Mr Usman Alkali Baba, said in Abuja that Oduduwa Nation agitators are planning to scuttle elections in the Southwest.
He said intelligence report point to the planned nefarious activities of the Yoruba nation agitators.
Baba spoke at a strategic meeting with Command Police Commissioners, Zonal AIGs and Deputy Inspectors General of Police.
“The Oduduwa Nation agitators who, from intelligence sources, have been attempting to amass weapons and mobilize other resources towards disrupting the peace, security and electoral process in the South West geo-political zone,” Persecondnews quotes the police chief as alleging.
Baba, however, urged his officers and men to stabilize all internal security mechanism and create an enabling environment for smooth and peaceful elections.
“Similarly, violent secessionist campaigns by IPOB/ESN members which have been targeted at various symbols of democratic governance including INEC assets, Police Stations and personnel as well as other security agencies and Federal Government infrastructures, all in an effort to disrupt the 2023 General Elections in the South East geopolitical zone.
“Other crimes of national security importance which could undermine our efforts towards entrenching a peaceful electioneering process, if not adequately curtailed include banditry/terrorism which has ravaged many communities in the North-west and North-Central with adverse effects on the economic and social wellbeing of the residents.
“Despite the foregoing, the Nigeria Police Force has the responsibility to stabilize the internal security order within the country before, during and after the elections.
“Consequently, I am reiterating that you ensure no political actor or miscreant is able to subdue any part of the civil space under your Command,” the IGP said.
On other duties of the police, Baba stated: “Beyond these mandates, under the Electoral Act 2022 (as amended), the Nigeria Police is primarily responsible for securing the public space and the territorial integrity of the country before, during and after the elections and this remains sacrosanct.
“These include working with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and other intelligence and security agencies in the country, including both local and foreign observers, towards delivering a peaceful, free, fair and credible election.
“Further to this, you are to preclude the activities of quasi-security agents, who may be employed by politicians, from participating in the electoral process.
“Likewise, ensure that you closely monitor the illicit activities of the Civilian Joint Task Force (CJTF), National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), “Amotekun”, “Ebube-Agu” and Hunter’s Association and other State-owned security outfits with a view to checkmating their activities within your jurisdictions.”
The IGP also warned his officers and men to be apolitical when discharging their duties, as well as ensuring that all officers deployed have clear knowledge of their mandate in line with international best practices.
“Accordingly, as directed by President Muhammadu Buhari, I must therefore stress and warn, that as much as we will Police the election in the most civil and rule of law compliant manner.
“We shall remain apolitical and leave no one in doubt of our desire to give effect to the charge of Mr. President to ensure free, fair and credible elections across the nation.
“To ensure that our personnel and other security agencies to be deployed for the elections have a clear knowledge of their roles and operate within acceptable legal and ethical standards which are in line with international best practices, I have directed the distribution of the recently compiled and printed handbooks.
“It is titled, “Revised Standard Operational Guidelines/Rules for Police Officers and Other Law Enforcement Agents on Election Security Duties.”