The Nigeria Police has warned troublemakers threatening to disrupt Saturday’s Governorship and House of Assembly polls in Abia to be ready to face the full wrath of the law.
The Deputy Inspector-General of Police in Charge of the South-East, Mr John Amadi, issued the warning on Thursday in Umuahia, while addressing officers of the state command at the Police Officers’ Mess, Umuahia.
He said: “We have assured Nigerians and the South-East that nobody should entertain any fears.
“The police are there to protect the system.
“Anybody that wants to put himself into a problem or involved in thuggery would have himself to blame.
“Anybody that wants to snatch ballot boxes or disrupt the elections will be promptly dealt with.
“We have deployed our men to dominate all the areas that we think that trouble would erupt from.
“So we are sounding a note of warning to criminals and non-state agents that we would not tolerate anything that would not allow the people cast their vote and chose who they want to represent them.
“Anybody that wants to disrupt the system should be ready to die and anybody that wants to die should come out and disrupt the system.
“If you love your life keep away, cast your vote, go home and wait for the result.”
The police chief further urged the Abia electorate to disregard any threat to stop the elections.
He gave assurance that the polls must go on and urged the people not to entertain any fears from any quarters.
“On behalf of the Inspector-General of Police and the management team, I assure you that there would not be any infractions.
“I can assure you that we are ready,” Amadi said.
He further pledged the readiness of the force to maintain neutrality during the polls, saying that the police belong to no political party.
“We belong to Nigerians and this is the time to make everybody know that our primary responsibility is to protect lives and property.
He assured visitors to the state, including election monitors and observers, of their safety.
“We also assure you that INEC officials and materials must be adequately protected,” he said.
Amadi conveyed the appreciation of the IGP, Alkali Baba, to officers and men of the command for their sterling performance in the coverage of the February 25 Presidential and National Assembly.
“You should strive to replicate your performance but if you cannot surpass it, do not go below the standard you have set.
“We are the lead security agency and the country and world at large are looking at us to be able to provide the conducive environment for people to go and exercise their franchise.
“We need to protect them so as give them the atmosphere to exercise their civic rights without fear of attack or molestation,” he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the DIG, who was accompanied by the Abia Commissioner of Police, Mr Mohammed Bala, also visited the INEC office in Umuahia.