The 2019 Presidential and National Assembly polls may have come and gone, having it’s own blemishes and appraisals from different stakeholders, both Nationally and Internationally. My write-up will not divulge itself on the credibility, fairness, and transparency of the process or the outcome but will rather concern itself on the conduct of the ‘Men-in-Black’, The Nigeria Police.
The appointment of the new Acting-Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar, days to the election and his assurances that his men and officers will be fair to all and be professional in the discharge of their duties during and after the general election can be said to have yielded positive fruits.
The Nigeria Police has been in the spotlights of the media in previous elections, for the wrong reasons. They are either linked to snatching of electoral materials, shielding of political thugs who harass and intimidate voters, or disenfranchise voters from casting their votes. That cannot be said in the conduct of the presidential and national assembly polls. Judging by the feelers I got, both from credible local and foreign observers nationwide, the Nigeria Police were very professional and lived up to the promise made by the new Ag. IGP.
On the day of the Presidential and National Assembly polls, the Police officers were strategically stationed according to what I term as ‘layers’ ; For every polling unit, there were non – arms – carrying police officers who were only there to maintain law and order. The second layer were the arms – carrying police officers stationed far away from the polling unit in the ward to ensure safety of voters who came out to cast their votes. The third layer were also arms – carriers but conducted patrol exercises around the neighbourhoods to guard against external attacks. Despite the pressures and dangers they faced on this day, the Police Officers remained resolute to conduct their job in a professional manner.
I have researched deeply into the conduct of the Nigeria Police on the just concluded Presidential and National Assembly elections, aside from pockets of cases in few places like Brass, Bayelsa State where a Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) was caught in the web of contradictions, another, a Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) attached to a Collation Centre in Umuahia, Abia State and an unconfirmed report of the lackadaisical attitudes of Police Officers in connection to the disruption of voting and destruction of voting materials in Okota, in Oshodi/Isolo Council area of Lagos State, I can categorically say am proud and impressed by our men (The Nigeria Police).
Much kudos are rarely given to the men and officers of the Nigeria Police as a result of their past actions, but it is believed that ‘when a child performs well, you appreciate the child and encourage him/her to surpass the previous achievement and when a child also goes astray, you punish and correct such child’. The men and officers of the Nigeria Police must be congratulated and appreciated.
Finally, I urge other sister – security agencies to learn from the Nigeria Police Force on how to professionally carryout their assigned roles and duties. This is predicated on the information I got as regards the unprofessional conduct of the 2019 Presidential and National Assembly polls by such sister – security agency which was a total write-off and cannot be discussed on this platform. Another election is here again with us; The Gubernatorial and State Houses of Assembly Elections. THE WORLD IS WATCHING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!