The Inspector General of Police (IGP), Suleiman Abba, yesterday vowed to sanction any policeman who engages in any unprofessional act during the general elections scheduled to hold next month.
This is coming as the Forum of Spokespersons of Security and Response Agencies (FOSSRA) also pledged that it will remain professional, non-partisan and apolitical at all times, especially during the February general elections.
The Inspector-General of Police, who at the Police headquarters in Abuja launched an Operational Guidelines for police officers that would be involved in the conduct of the elections, said the Force is adopting a strategy to enable it live up to expectations in providing security for the 2015 elections.
While launching the booklet titled “Nigeria Police Force Standard Operational Guideline of Rules for Police Officers on Electoral Duty’’, the IGP said “It is simply a guide to all police officers on their legal responsibilities and ethical expectations from members of the public.
“It is aimed at improving the individual and ultimately the general performance of the Nigeria police force in ensuring free, fair and credible elections.
“It is for police officers right from the rank of Inspector-General of Police to the Constable,’’
According to him, the book will be extended to sister security agencies that will be working with the police during the elections.
Similarly, FOSSRA in a communiqué on its first meeting for 2015 held in Abuja yesterday and signed by Major Gen. Chris Olukolade and Emmanuel Okeh, Chairman and Secretary respectively, the forum said its members will continue to ensure that press statements, official pronouncements of individual members as well as their organisations remain professional, non-partisan and apolitical at all times.
While stressing the need for efficient and effective inter-agency collaboration, he said members resolved not to be distracted by blackmail and intimidation in carrying out their statutory duties.
FOSSRA’s membership is drawn from Defence Headquarters, Army, Airforce, Navy, Police, Department of State Services (DSS), Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), National Intelligence Agency (NIA), Office of the National Security Adviser (NSA), Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Nigeria Prison Service (NPS), Federal Fire Service (FFS), Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) and National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA).
The forum reassured law abiding Nigerian citizens of the preparedness of the security agencies to ensure safety of their lives and property before, during and after the forthcoming general elections while encouraging security consciousness among the citizens by being vigilant all the time.
It also emphasised the need for the public to report suspicious movements, objects or suspects to relevant authorities.
Concerning media practitioners, FOSSRA cautioned against undue sensationalism and unethical journalism and emphasised the need for media executives, especially editors, to ensure fairness, balance and objectivity on their platforms.
The spokespersons who called on politicians to avoid making reckless statements and inciting comments, called for the cooperation of religious and community leaders in sensitizing their subjects and followers on the need to shun acts of violence and thuggery and pledge to support and work with INEC to ensure free, fair, credible and non-violent elections.
Also in the communiqué, was an appeal to Nigerians to always strive for the promotion of peaceful coexistence, tolerance, orderliness and brotherliness.