The Inspector General of Police, Mr Ibrahim Idris, has warned politicians in the country to desist from acts and utterances capable of causing violence ahead of the Osun State governorship poll and the 2019 General Elections.
The IG gave the warning in Osogbo on Thursday at a one-day seminar with the theme, ’Imperativeness of police collaboration with essential stakeholders: Towards secure, free, fair and credible elections in Nigeria.’
He said certain utterances and actions of politicians were usually capitalised on by their supporters to cause mayhem, saying politicians should be circumspect in the speeches and called on the media to investigate before publishing their stories.
He said, “Let me use this opportunity to advise politicians and their supporters to desist from certain conducts which will precipitate violence and actions that may lead to both local and foreign observers adjudging our elections as not credible.
“Such conducts include but not limited to arming of political thugs and making hate speech before, during and after the elections which may likely precipitate violence.
“Canvassing/soliciting for votes, wearing of party insignias, dissuading voters from voting for candidates of their own choice, loitering, blaring of siren on the day of election.
“Disrespecting police officers and disobeying the restriction of movement orders on the day of elections as well as moving about by government officials with their security aides.”
The IGP said the police deployed 30,000 officers in Ekiti State for the recent governorship election because of the peculiar nature of the state. He said the police were criticised for sending such a large number of policemen.
He justified the deployment, saying the force would have been flayed if they had deployed 10,000 men in Rivers State for a by-election in eight wards