From Molly Kilete, Abuja
The Inspector General of Police(IGP), Ibrahim Idris, has assured that the police would play a neutral role in the forthcoming gubernatorial elections in Edo State.
He said the police headquarters has concluded plans to deploy over 200 vehicles and thousands of police personnel to the state to ensure a smooth and crisis-free elections.
Idris, who made this known at a conference with Assistant Inspectors General of Police(AIG), and state commissioners of police, however raised the alarm over a possible political crisis in Ondo State where he said the All Progressives Party(APC), has over 23 candidates contesting to be the standard bearer of the party in the elections scheduled to hold later in the year.
He however said this would not be a problem as the police was combat ready to deal with any security threat.
The IGP who warned that the days when policemen interfere with electioneering processes other than their duty was over, said any officer caught hobnobbing with politicians to oppress opponents and rig elections would have himself to blame.
Idris lamented that a lot of malpractices during elections have been labelled against the police, assured that the upcoming elections in Edo and Ondo states would go a long way to change that perception of the public about the police.
He therefore charged police personnel to continue to operate within the ambit of the law and demonstrate those attributes that will earn them trust and respect from members of the public who they are paid to protect.
The IGP, who also spoke on the issue of road block which he said, has resurfaced in the South East and South-South part of the country called on the AIGs and commissioners of police in the zone to remove such road block which he said remained banned across the country.