Rivers State Commissioner of Police, CP Joseph G. Mukan has urged the state independent electoral commission, RSIEC to deliver a credible and transparent election in the April 17th Local Government elections in the state.
The CP gave this charge yesterday, when members of the fifth commission of the Rivers State Independent Electoral Commission arrived his office on a courtesy visit.
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According to the state commissioner of police, “As we all know, the success of any election whether it’s local government, national or state level elections, the two principal key players that will make any of such election to be free, fair and successful is the commission that is charged with conducting the elections and the support of the elite agencies in elections, which is the police.
“We are not new, elections in this country as you all know, so if we want the local government election that is coming up next year April to be successful, it is this body and the police that will give a credible and transparent election to Rivers State.”
He promised that, “As for the police, we are always there, we know our responsibilities, and I want to assure the chairman this afternoon that we will give you the best. We will ensure that there is a level playing ground for every participant, we are not looking at political parties but we are looking at those who are contesting under the political parties, because we have to give people their choice, people cannot go and elect somebody then you connive with other agencies to see that you twist that result and give somebody who the people didn’t choose, we cannot be a party to such election.
The CP who also emphasized on the need to toe the line of transparency in the forth coming election said, “We have to ensure that, we all know power belongs to God, God gives power to people, and whomever he choose to give power to, he will give it, so why can’t we just toe that line of transparency? And ensure that the people get the person they want, anybody who contest and win election let him be given what he deserves, that’s the only way that we can get development, when the person fail, the people should blame themselves because they elected him but when you impose somebody, he is not accountable to anybody, whatever he wants to do, he will go and do it, so let’s see how the people’s choice should stands, forget about the political parties as I have said initially, this body is constituted by the government in power, but you are people of integrity, government will come today, government will go tomorrow, but if you tarnish your hard earned reputation because you want to please somebody, history will hold you responsible, that name you’ve built for years is gone in one day and for a reason that you are not benefitting from it, so let’s try to see that the names we’ve built for ourselves and the reputation people know us for, let it come into display so that the people will get what they want, you have a very good track record, all of you here, and I believe nobody will like to go and put that at the altar of destruction by trying to manipulate elections that will come and go but your name is still there, so be rest assured that we are going to work together, and please, I’m appealing that we should be transparent in whatever we are doing, let the people get their choice, whoever they want, let them get it.”
In his speech, the Chairman of the Rivers State Independent Electoral Commission, Hon. Justice George Omereji, who led the fifth commission on the courtesy visit, appreciated the commissioner of police for what he described as a significantly improved level of peace and order in the state since his assumption of office as commissioner of police.
Omereji who was accompanied by the secretary of the commission, Douglas Chukwu, Chioma Ochia, Prof. Gilbert, Solomon Egbe, Dr. Doris Chukwu, among others noted that, “This visit is by the fifth commission of the Rivers State Independent Electoral Commission led by myself, and it’s in recognition of the fact that you are critical stakeholders in the conduct of election at all levels in Nigeria.
“We are here to express our gratitude for the significantly improved level of peace and order in Rivers State since your assumption of office as commissioner of Police.
According to him, “We have also come to inform you of the forth coming Local Government council election in the state and to solicit your profound support in the peaceful conduct and execution of the election. Let me categorically state in this regard that during the election, police presence will be needed in the 4442 polling units, additional presence will be required at the 319 ward collation centers and more reinforced presence will be necessary at the local government collation centers, not to talk of the RSIEC headquarters itself and to further highlight the fact that prior to the election proper, on Saturday, 17th April 2021, Arm police accompaniment will be required in the advance movement / delivery of sensitive and none sensitive materials over land and water to the 23 local government areas, one to two days before the election.
“Aside from the officers and men stationed at the action centers, that is voting units, ward/local government collation points, e.t.c, police patrol vans will be expected to traverse major roads in Port Harcourt, Obio/Akpor and in all the local government areas keeping surveillance and nipping in the bud any attempt to disrupt the process.
“It is in deep appreciation of these principal role that the entire member of the commission resolved to visit your office today and to partner with you for the successful conduct of the 2021 local government council election in Rivers State.
“We as a commission are committed to uphold our oath of office to serve our father land by conducting a free, fair and credible election, and the provide a level playing field to all political parties, we count on your priceless support.
“Before I end this address, I want to also let you know that both the constitution and the decisions of the supreme court have reinforced the importance of police in the conduct of election, the police, they are the critical stakeholders as held by the supreme court in their decision in the conduct of election, and that’s why it is very important and critical that we come to introduce ourselves to you, solicit your support and partner with you and we hope that by our partnership we will be able to conduct free and fair election in Rivers State that the Rivers people and even the entire Nigeria will be proud of.”