BY TOM MOSES
IKOT-EKPENE – Commissioner of Police (CP), Akwa-Ibom State, Mr Gabriel Achon has warned that violence in the 2015 general elections in the country would be inevitable if politicians do not obey the rules governing electoral process.
The Commissioner gave the warning in Ikot-Ekpene Local Government Area at a-one day sensitization workshop ahead of the 2015 general elections organized by the Akwa-Ibom State Police Command in conjunction with the state’s branch of the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) lamenting that since independence, elections in the country were widely flawed due to violence and associated loss of lives and property.
“People the world-over, have advocated the need for free and fair elections. This is often at great personal risk. Where critical departures from acceptable rules governing the electoral process are not met, violence may become inevitable.
“The role of the Nigeria Police Force at ensuring free, fair and credible elections cannot therefore be over_emphasized. The 2015 general elections are fast approaching. Training programmes and dialogue among electoral stakeholders such as this are viable tools in ensuring hitch-free elections.
“It is against this backdrop that the Nigeria Police High Command as part of strategies evolved to ensure security of the entire electoral process is organizing this one-day workshop for its men, stakeholders and the general public”, CP Achon noted.
But the Paramount Ruler of Obot Akara Local Government Area and father of the day, HRM Okuku Uwah Adiaka was pessimistic that violence and fraud-free elections were possible in the country and even in the advanced democracies.
The monarch rather enjoined the police and other security arms to work towards bringing the trend to a tolerable level.
HRM Adiaka commended the Nigeria Police, Akwa-Ibom State, the NBA and INEC for the concern and vision culminating in the sensitization workshop, the third in the serie and so, urged politicians and other stakeholders to evolve decorum in their quests for political power so as not to destabilize the system.
The workshop featured paper presentation by the Acting Chairman of the NBA, Ikot-Ekpene Branch, Essien Obong Eso entitled: “The Place of Law Enforcement in a Free and Fair Election”.