The Acting Inspector-General of Police, Suleiman Abba, has stated that the Police will stop candidates with criminal records from contesting in the 2015 general elections.
Abba who hinted that the Force would collaborate with the Department of State Security to carry out the task, added that he had made adequate arrangements for security for all activities leading to the elections, including party primaries, conventions, and campaigns by candidates.
Addressing senior officers including Deputy Inspectors-General of Police, Assistant Inspectors-General of Police, and Command Commissioners of Police at a meeting to strategise on the 2105 elections at the Force headquarters, Abuja on Wednesday, the IG said that the Police would ensure tight security for the elections and the electorates.
He explained that electoral materials would be well protected ahead of the elections, and accompanied to the polling units, noting that the Police would also protect the results and allowed the party agents to witness everything.
Abba said, “We have made adequate arrangements to make sure the Police provide security for all activities leading to the elections including voters registration, primaries, party convention and the campaigns by all the political parties. In all these activities, Police will ensure that security is provided for all party officials, INEC, candidates, and so on.
“The Police will collaborate with the SSS to ensure that candidates with criminal records are not allowed to contest for the election. On Election Day, materials will be well protected ahead of election and they will be escorted to each polling unit and Police will protect the results and party agents will be allowed to witness everything”.
Asked if he was comfortable with the relegation of the police to the background in internal security operations by the military, Abba, defended the deployment of military personnel in the states, saying the military was authorized by the Constitution to “support civil authorities to maintain law and order and nothing is wrong with the military performing their responsibility”.
When asked if he supports the deployment of soldiers for election duty, the acting IG was however prevented from responding as the Force Public Relations Officer, DCP Emmanuel Ojukwu, interjected saying, “the issue had been dealt with”.
On the 20 policemen, who went missing when insurgents attacked their training school at Gwoza, Borno State, Abba said the Force was still making frantic efforts to locate them, adding that one of them had resurfaced.
He said the Force would not relent in its efforts to rescue the men, noting that the issue remained a burden to him.