Molly Kilete, Abuja
The Inspector-General of Police(IGP), Alkali Baba, has charged strategic squadron Commanders in the Nigerian police force to ensure a safe, secure and credible electoral process in forthcoming gubernatorial elections in Anambra State.
He has also charged the commanders to demonstrate high level of professionalism, strong supervisory capacity of their Units, and the firmness and courage to deal ruthlessly with individual or group trying to disrupt the peaceful conduct of the elections, just as he charged them to work with the military and the various security organizations in the state to curb the wave of violence currently ravaging the peace and security of the state and other parts of the country.
He gave the charge in his maiden meeting with the Strategic Commanders of the Force Police Mobile Force(MOPOL), Special Protection Unit(SPU), and Counter Terrorism Unit(CTU), Commanders held at the police force headquarters in Abuja.
The IGP, while noting that the election security action plan revolves around Units of the Mobile Police Force, charged them to remain apolitical while being ruthless with violent elements and ill- guided political thugs that may want to truncate a peaceful transparent and credible electoral outcome.
He said the meeting which is the first since he assumed office was aimed at brainstorming on the current security challenges in the country, reappraise the role of the Police Mobile Force (PMF), being the most strategic tactical and operational arm of the Force, review professional issues in relation to the activities of personnel of PMF, and evolve a more potent action plan that will roll back the current security slide in the country.
The IGP, who expressed worry on yhe security situation in Anambra state ahead of the November 6 gubernatorial elections, said said “The import of this is that the task of securing our democratic values and guaranteeing a safe, secure and credible electoral process in Anambra State will rest squarely and majorly on some of you, the Squadron Commanders here seated and some of your Units.
“Most of your operatives will be deployed to deter subversive elements that are planning to threaten the process, while others will be deployed to secure personnel and materials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as well as other critical national infrastructure. While the detailed operational action plan in this regard will form a key part of our discourse during this conference, I must strongly warn you to ensure that you demonstrate high level of professionalism, strong supervisory capacity on your Units, and the firmness and courage which are the traditional hallmarks of the Police Mobile Force.
Continuing, the IGP, said “I charge you to cultivate the spirit of team work and inter- agency cooperation, knowing that you will operate side-by-side other sister security agencies and officials of INEC. Above all, you must remain apolitical while being ruthless with violent elements and ill- guided political thugs that may wish to test our common will to deliver a transparent and credible electoral outcome.
“I am confident am confident
that like other operations in which you have excelled, you will not let the Nigeria Police and, indeed, the nation down in this critical national assignment.
“Let me re-emphasise that the repositioning of the PMF is one of my police leadership agenda. In this regard, the PMF under my leadership will in due course, be re-organised, adequately equipped, trained and re-oriented with the goal of re-situating it within its original concept. In furtherance to this, all the Squadron Commanders shall be leaving this Conference with new sets of operational assets which have been approved for issuance with a view to sharpening your operational capacity.
“Plans are also underway to issue more weaponry and operational vehicles to enhance your operational mobility and combat ability. Aside this, the Deputy Inspector General of Police in- charge of Operations has been tasked to commence the process of training and re-training of operatives of the PMF in order to strengthen your special operational capacity and exposing you to modern tactical and combat requirements. This initiative will be structured to cover all officers and men across all the PMF Squadrons in the country. The Police Trust Fund and the Ministry of Police Affairs are supporting the Force in this regard.
“My dear Commanders, while I am pleased with your operational strides, I am also concerned about reports touching on unprofessional conducts by some operatives of the PMF across the country as well as reports of illegal deployment of PMF personnel. Citizens of this country are worried about the illegalities of some bad eggs within the fold of PMF as well as the tendency for corruption b