by Oluwatosin Fatoyinbo
Inspector general of police, Suleiman Abba yesterday said that the Police will collaborate with the Department of State Security to screen out politicians with criminal records from participating in the 2015 elections..
He, however, warned that politicians vying for one office or the other should be ready to play by the rules and accept defeat in good faith or use legal and legitimate process in presenting their grievances adding that any one that will want to take the laws into his hand will be fiercely resisted by the police.
“We urged the contestants to play the game according to the rules and to also accept where he loses. A winner must emerge. Once he emerges, the looser must accept the loss. Whoever decides to take the laws into their own hands, whether around the tribunals or even outside without reference to the tribunal, you want to take the law into your hand because you have lost any election, let me say that we will not take it kindly with you.
“The law will take its course, not minding who you are and where you belong. We will make sure that there is peace and tranquility and we will make sure that the majority continue to enjoy for the service we are made to provide. Like I said, the focus of this meeting will be on the issues of the election.
“We have made adequate arrangements to ensure that the police provide sufficient security for all the activities leading to the general elections. These activities have started including the registration of voters, the party primaries, the selection of candidates and screening, the conventions by the parties and many others including the very important one which are the campaigns by all the political parties and all the candidates.
“In all these activities, the police will ensure that adequate security is provided to the officials who are conducting the election, INEC officials. When it get to the issue of screening, we will collaborate with our colleagues, particularly the Directorate of State Security to ensure that candidates with criminal records are not allowed to contest”.
“Similarly, we will provide enough security to the members of the public who will partake in some of these activities. For example in the registration of voters, we will make sure prospective voters are secured to go and register and on the election day, we will make sure that the materials provided by INEC are well protected ahead of the polling date and on the polling ahead of the polling date, we will escort them to their destinations. That is to all the states of the federation.
“We will create the enabling environment for voters to feel free enough to go and cast their votes and if the opt to stay their fine.”