Ahead of the court-ordered rerun elections in Essien Udim local government area of Akwa Ibom State into the offices of Senate, House of Representatives and the state House of Assembly on Saturday 25 January, 2020, the state Commissioner of Police, CP Imohimi Edgar had said officers not assigned on election duties seen at Polling Units in Essien Udim would be arrested, investigated and prosecuted.
The Commissioner who said the Saturday rerun elections would no longer be ‘business as usual’ also ordered his men to repel attack by thugs who may invade the Polling Units with firearms.
Speaking to journalists immediately after a one-day capacity building workshop for security agencies in Uyo yesterday, CP Edgar said all modalities have been put in place ahead of the elections and urged stakeholders to warn their people not to allow themselves to be used by politicians as thugs or to cause violence during the elections.
According to him, “we have agreed that every security agent that will be involved in the conduct of the elections on Saturday will wear an identification tag, if any security agent with whatever reason is found around polling units
in Essien Udim without identification tag, he would be arrested immediately investigated before the normal disciplinary procedure follows.
“This time around, it’s not going to be business as usual, we are not going to allow anybody to come to Essien Udim to distort the electoral process. We have instructed our men, should situation arise where unknown persons try to invade any polling unit armed with dangerous weapon such as firearms, cutlasses, hammer etc. They should invoke the necessary clauses in the force that fall under section 237 as amended and use proportionate force to ensure that those invaders are instantly dealt with.
“We intend to tell stakeholders to go back to their various communities to draw the ears of their children and warn them not to allow any politician or political group use them for any form of thuggery.”
The Commissioner, who also announced that there would be restriction of movement in Essien Udim alone, urged people to cooperate with security agents to ensure peaceful rerun elections.
Speaking earlier the Resident Electoral Commissioner, Mr. Mike Igini, said the elections would be the most supervised and monitored because directors from Abuja were going to be manning a number of polling units
“We are using the card readers for authentication and our officials are ready to conduct the elections on Saturday,” Igini added.