Mr Dibal Yakadi, the Assistant Inspector-General of Police (AIG) in charge of Zone 5, has assured of peaceful, free and fair governorship election in Edo, scheduled to take place on Sept. 19.
The AIG who spoke during a meeting with stakeholders in Benin on Wednesday, said everybody must work towards ensuring that this happened.
While warning that stiffer penalties awaited offenders during the Edo poll, the AIG appealed to the stakeholders to warn their supporters, wards or group against any act of violence before, during and after the poll.
Yakadi listed unemployment, poverty, lack of sportsmanship by political actors, desperation by politicians, proliferation of small arms and access to illicit drugs as being responsible for election violence.
He also warned political parties to stop hate speech and circulation of fake and unconfirmed stories.
He said the media, Independent National Electoral Commission, religious leaders, political parties and security agencies were critical stakeholders who must play their roles to ensure free, fair and credible poll.
“The stakeholders must work as a team to deliver free, fair and credible election.
“The media must develop high level of professionalism in the discharge of their duties, while religious leaders must also continue to preach peace.
“NYSC must work to ensure that only corps members willing to dutifully carry out election assignments are recruited; security agencies should be neutral and not be partisan during elections,” he stated.
He urged INEC to ensure that all logistics for elections were put in place before the elections.
To stop election violence, Yakadi said employment should be created while voters education should be carried on a regular basis.
He assured that “the police will ensure regular engagement of stakeholders before the Sept. 19 election.”
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), reports that all security agencies were present at the meeting as well as traditional rulers, religious and youth leaders, political parties and civil society organisations. (NAN)