By Adewole Kehinde
The governorship election that took place on Wednesday 28th September, 2016 in Edo State was a huge feat when you talk of the security arrangement put in place.
The Inspector General of Police, IGP Ibrahim Idris had visited Edo State on Friday 9th September, 2016 ahead of governorship election to seek the cooperation of Stakeholders for a peaceful election and the visit really contributed to the non-violent governorship election we witnessed in the State.
It will be recalled that in his determination to ensure that the rescheduled Edo Gubernatorial Election is conducted in a peaceful and secured atmosphere, the Inspector General of Police had ordered the galvanization of the reviewed operation plan for the governorship election that held throughout the State on Wednesday, 28th September, 2016.
A total of 25,000 Police officers were deployed across the State to ensure peace and security during the polls. The election security process paid off as it guaranteed the free, fair and credible governorship election we witnessed in Edo State.
The electoral process was well secured; eligible voters exercised their rights freely without intimidation, election materials and officials were well protected and above all, no single soul was lost during the election.
In the same manner, protection of life and property in Edo State were duly secured while the slight protest at the INEC office and some spots in Edo State was put under control by the Nigeria Police with support from other sister security agencies on ground.
The Police officers deployed for the election really conducted themselves in the best professional manner, maintaining apolitical disposition and strictly stood by the rules of engagement.
The entire Nigeria Policemen that were deployed to Edo State discharged their statutory functions effectively, unbiased and in accordance to the principles of democratic policing and I must commend them for that.
On the security arrangement for the election, the APC Chairman, John Odigie-Oyegun, described it as lovely. “Well, I’m National Chairman of the party and it was something that was of grave concern for us all the time. All the security agencies have given us iron clad assurance that there will be no incident, at least, no major incident.”
Above all, I must commend the man that laid the foundation for this Peace and Tranquility in Edo State that has led to the free, fair and credible election. That is the Inspector General of Police, IGP Ibrahim Idris for keeping to his promise of providing an atmosphere of Peace and Safety to all residents of Edo State.
It is on record that IGP Ibrahim Idris attended Joint Police and Military courses, including Disaster Management Course at the Armed Forces Command and Staff College Jaji in 2003; he was also the Director, International Peace Keeping Office at the Nigeria Police Force Headquarters from 11th April 2011 to 6th July 2011. All these must have contributed to the peaceful and rancour-free governorship election in Edo State.
As a man of Peace, in March 2011, the President of Democratic Republic of Timor Leste, Dr Jose Ramos Horta (Nobel Lauret) awarded IGP Ibrahim Idris the Country’s highest National Medal, the “Medal of Merit”, for his contribution to the Security and Stability of Timor Leste.
The UN Secretary General appointed Mr. Ibrahim as a Police Commissioner in UNAMID, in Darfur. This is the 1st time a Nigerian Police officer was clinching a B2 position for any UN Mission in the World. However, he declined the offer to enable him contribute his quota in ensuring Peace and Stability during and after the 2015 General Elections which he did perfectly in Kano State.
The residents of Ondo and especially Rivers State, where elections will come up before the end of the year; can be assured of violent-free elections, to be conducted in an atmosphere of peace and water tight security arrangement which will be put in place by the Nigeria Police in collaboration with other sister security outfit.
Lastly, Nigerians should be assured of adequate security in our electoral process as the foundation for a rancour-free election has been laid in Edo State by the Inspector General of Police, IGP Ibrahim Idris.
Adewole Kehinde is a Journalist and Public Affairs Analyst based in Abuja. He can be reached firstname.lastname@example.org