The Inspector-General of Police, IGP, Usman Baba, has read the riot act to personnel and politicians ahead of the 2023 election campaign season.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is expected to announce the commencement of campaigns from September 28.
At the Force Headquarters in Abuja, Baba chaired a meeting with the Management Team and Strategic Police Managers.
In attendance were Assistant Inspectors-General of Police, and Commissioners of Police across Zonal, State Commands, and Formations.
The parley reviewed political programmes laid down by the INEC and charted pathways for a smooth electoral process ahead of the general polls.
Baba charged the senior officers to ensure a crime-free and enabling environment for campaigns as the public space will become very active and susceptible to politically related offences.
The IGP advised them to observe the dictates of the Electoral Act 2022, and the Code of Conduct and Rules of Engagement for Security Personnel on Election Duty issued in 2020 by the Inter-Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security (ICCES).
Baba stressed that security outfits established by state governments and local communities, operating under different nomenclatures and structures, have no roles under the Electoral Act and in the electoral process.
The police chief warned police personnel against working for political or community actors in any role during the electioneering.
Such would amount to an illegality, a threat to national security, and inimical to the nation’s democratic interest, Baba added.
The IGP urged all AIGs and Commissioners to engage in an all-inclusive approach by liaising with Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs), leadership of parties, and other relevant stakeholders.
Baba further directed increased intelligence gathering and deployments to ensure that the security agency maintains law and order across Nigeria.