Inspector General of Police (IGP) Usman Alkali Baba has said 203 electoral offenders were arrested during the just-concluded presidential and National Assembly elections.
Baba spoke yesterday when he met with Strategic Police Managers comprising Deputy Inspectors General of Police (DIGs) and members of the Force Management Team, Assistant Inspectors General of Police (AIGs), Commissioners of Police (CPs), and heads of tactical investigative and operational units of the Force at the Goodluck Jonathan Peacekeeping Hall at Force Headquarters in Abuja.
He said: “In your quest to maintain order within the electoral space, you succeeded on a commendable scale in stabilising such threatened space, safely rescued several INEC officials and citizens that were under threats, secured sensitive materials, made series of recoveries, including arms and ammunition of various descriptions, as well as effected, in the most professional manner, the arrest of several electoral adversaries nationwide.
“In this regard, of the about 185 major incidents that the police responded to across the country during the elections, a total of 203 offenders linked to various electoral offences and sundry crimes have so far been arrested, while not less than 18 firearms of various descriptions were recovered from political thugs during the exercise.
“All the cases are at various stages of investigations at the Nigeria Police Electoral Offences Desks. I assure you that in due course, they will be concluded and processed to the Legal Department of the INEC for prosecution.
“Our outstanding performance is, indeed, evidenced by the fact that for the first time in the election security history of our beloved country, the Nigeria Police has been widely insulated from accusations that usually accompany any electoral cycle.
“We have, rather, been receiving accolades and encouragements from both local and international election observers for our unprecedented quality election security service delivery. This much was re-echoed by the African Union Commission (AUC) Election Observer Mission and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Commission and several other credible national and international sources.”
“All of these are not only reflective of the pre-election security operations trainings that most personnel of the Force were exposed to, it is also a product of the meticulous planning, massive operational assets and logistics procurement and deployment process as well as the prioritisation of the welfare requirements of personnel deployed on the election duties.
“Most fundamentally, your excellent performance is clearly indicative of your compliance with my strategic and operational directives which were predicated on the charge of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari, to ensure a peaceful and secure electoral process as well as a firm but apolitical disposition that will engender a free, fair, and credible 2023 general election.
“For your loyalty, patriotism, sacrifice, and professionalism, I wish to use this forum to convey my sincere appreciation and commendation to you here seated and, indeed, to the entire Nigeria Police family, the military, Intelligence community and all other complementary services that supported us in the exercise.
“In so doing, however, I must be quick to remind you of the common saying that ‘the reward for hard work is more work’.”