By: RAYMOND TEDUNJAYE, Lagos
The Police Service Commission has said it will be deploying a team of Monitors to monitor the conduct of Police men on electoral duties during the Saturday, July 14th Ekiti State Governorship election.
The team, which will be led by the Commission’s Permanent Secretary, Musa Istifanus, is expected to arrive Ekiti tomorrow, July 11th, 2018 and will cover the three Senatorial zones of the state.
In a release made available to journalists on Tuesday, the commission stated that the monitoring exercise is part of its constitutional mandate to hold the police accountable in carrying out its electoral duties.
According to the statement signed by Ikechukwu Ani, head, press and public relations, the move is in the Commission’s desire to contribute to the sustenance of the nation’s nascent democracy as the actions/inactions of the police can affect the success of the election.
The Commission has therefore released three dedicated telephone lines for the electorate to reach its Monitors in the three Senatorial Zones for any complaint on the conduct of police officers during the election. The numbers are 08059702950 for Ekiti North Zone, 08033010905, for Ekiti South Zone and 08088155981 for Ekiti Central zone.
The Commission further warned that it will not hesitate to discipline any police officer found wanting in the discharge of his/her electoral duties.
Police Officers on electoral duties in Ekiti are expected to turn out for duty neat and in their prescribed uniform and identification/name tag which must be identifiable to the public.
Police Officers on electoral duty are also not allowed to have on them un-authorised item of accoutrement/kit like cudgel, horsewhip etc. At no time will police personnel deployed to polling units be allowed to carry firearms.
Involvement of the police at political gatherings shall also be limited to the maintenance of peace and order and enforcement of extant laws and officers shall at all times exercise maximum restraint while covering political gatherings or deployed at voting/collation centres. The officers must be cautious, polite and firm at all times.
The Commission Monitors will be looking out for Officers who will compromise these laid down rules and guidelines and will expect the electorates in Ekiti to call its dedicated lines to report any case of misconduct.
The Commission wishes to state that it will continue to discharge its constitutional responsibilities and ensure that the Police operate within the confines of the law.