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Violence-free election meeting: PDP, ACN, ANPP shun IGP

As IG warns govs, LG chairmen, political parties

BY KINGSLEY OMONOBI

ABUJA – The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP; the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN and the All Nigeria Peoples Party, ANPP, were among major political parties that, yesterday, boycotted the all-inclusive meeting with chairmen of registered political parties in Nigeria, summoned by the Inspector General of Police, Mr Hafiz Ringim, towards achieving the objectives of a violence free 2011 general elections.

The boycott occurred just as the Inspector General warned state governors, local government chairmen and political parties not to give any form of assistance either in the area of finance or otherwise to Police Commands or Police Commissioners in a bid to ensure that no police command was compromised during the April elections.

He, however, disclosed that the Federal Government provided the Police with all the required funding it needed to take care of its officers and men in terms of allowances, logistics, training and other needs about three months ago, adding that by the beginning of next week, Force Headquarters would begin distribution of these logistics requirements.

Purpose of  meeting

His words: “The purpose of this meeting is not only to appraise how far we have gone in our preparations but to look at the way forward. The need to have a free, fair and rancour-free election cannot be over emphasized. Africa is watching, the world is watching us. Only last week, we received delegation from the International Republican Institute, the European Union has come to see what we are doing to have free and fair election.

“The Police cannot achieve this feat without your cooperation. Indeed, a lot of you have expressed doubt and misgivings about the police remaining apolitical during past elections. I want to reassure you that in this election, not a single Policeman shall engage himself or herself on anything that is partisan. The directive of the Federal Government is that all security agencies shall discharge their functions without being partisan.

“Towards this end, government has directed the release of funds for training, logistics, allowances, equipment to the Police. The office of the National Security Adviser shall disburse funding to other security agencies with regards to their roles.

Warning

“Let me, therefore, warn Police Commands and Police Commissioners that no Policeman should approach any government in the states, local governments or political parties in the state for any assistance be it finance or otherwise with regards to prosecution of the elections.

At the meeting were only a handful including representatives of CPC, Garba Mohammed, former Deputy Governor of Bauchi State; Iheanacho Ogujiofor, APGA; Chudi Chukwuani of NDP; Edozie Madu, CDC; Emmanuel Mok, NTP, Sam Nkire, PPA; Emma Okereke, National Liberation Party, Chris Nwegbu, NNDP, Stanley Ekuelem, NPC and Frank Oluofa.
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