The acting Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, has said the police will maintain neutrality during the forthcoming governorship elections in Edo and Ondo states.
He stated that a strategic operational order for the Edo poll would soon be rolled out, adding that helicopters, marine police officers and 200 patrol vehicles would be deployed along with thousands of policemen and women.
Idris said this during the monthly IG conference with senior police officers at the Force headquarters, Abuja, on Wednesday.
He had earlier presented cheques totalling N192m to 117 relatives of police officerS who died while in service.
The IG observed that the police could have challenges in Ondo State on account of the high number of aspirants, but noted that the police would remain on top of the situation.
He said, “The police will continue to maintain neutrality during the rerun polls and the forthcoming governorship elections. We would soon come out with a strategic operational order for the Edo polls; we would deploy marine police officers, helicopters and 200 vehicles with thousands of men. I want to advise the Commissioner of Police in the state to make a judicious use of the resources to ensure a peaceful poll.”
Idris emphasised the ban on roadblocks and tasked the Assistant Inspectors-General of Police in charge of the various zonal formations and the CPs to set up monitoring teams to enforce the ban in their jurisdictions.
He said he had been receiving complaints about roadblocks in the South-East, adding that monitoring teams would also be deployed from the Force headquarters.
The IG warned against illegal deployment of riot policemen, saying the country’s Police Mobile Force officials were not to be attached to politicians or dignitaries for bodyguard duties.
Idris said the public rating of the police had improved, adding that Nigerians now viewed the police more favourably.
He noted that the United Kingdom’s High Commissioner to Nigeria, Paul Arkwright, acknowledged this when he visited the Force headquarters on a courtesy call recently.
He stated that police officers who performed well should be given letters of commendation and recommended for promotion in order to motivate them.