By Enyim Enyim
ONITSHAâ€”The Anambra State Police Command wants a separate budget to enable it play its constitutional role effectively during the governorship election scheduled for 6 February 2010.
The State Police Commissioner,Â Mr Philemon Leha made the appeal while delivering a paper entitled â€œIntegrity of the Police: The Electoral Law and the Role of the Police in Ensuring Free and Fair Election,â€ at a confernce organised by the Nigeria Medical Association, NMA, at Emmaus House, Awka.
â€œIt is recommended that the police should be allowed to plan its budget for discharging the all important statutory functions to safeguard against the problems of having to go to INEC cap in hand for funds to play its important role in the election.â€
He said the police was always confronted with the problem of how to get to the rural areas during elections but had often, not covered their areas of duty on time because they had to work at the mercy of INEC.
He also faulted the guidelines published by INEC,Â which he said subsumed the police under the control of the presiding officers during elections, adding that by the guidelines, the police can not intervene in any crisis situation without taking directive from the presiding officer.
The Resident Electoral Commissioner in his paper, entitled, â€œPartnering with Professional Bodies in the Conduct of the 2010 Governorship Election,â€ assured that the Commission would conduct a free and fair election and appealed to the NMA to carry out an aggressive campaign aimed at educating the electorate on how to make the right choice of candidate.
Chairman of the NMA, Dr Obi Nwosu called on the people of the state to change in their attitude towards the elections generally, for their good and that of the state.