Mohammed Adamu, the Inspector General of Police, has said the governorship elections recently conducted in Kogi and Bayelsa states were “relatively peaceful”.
Adamu stated this at the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) inter-agency consultative committee on election security (ICCES) meeting in Abuja on Wednesday.
The IGP, who was represented at the event by Bashir Makama, an assistant inspector-general of police (AIG), made the assertion despite INEC saying that both governorship polls were affected by thuggery and violence.
Reports indicated that four persons were reported dead in separate attacks in the two states, one of them being the burning down of the home of the late Salome Abuh, the women’s leader of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
But Adamu defended the role of the police, saying it did its best to ensure a peaceful election.
“In the whole, despite the related infractions or some sort of thuggery observed and other challenges that were faced, the election could be said to be relatively peaceful,” he said.
The IGP, however, admitted that “there is still room for improvements”.
He also disclosed that the police arrested at least 43 suspects in connection with violence and violation of electoral laws during the elections in the two states.
Also speaking, Mahmood Yakubu, INEC chairman, asked for proper identification of all police officers deployed in polling units “so that they will be held responsible for the conduct of elections in those locations”.
“The commission believes that the purpose of security deployment during elections is to protect the voters, election officials and materials, accredited observers, the media and to safeguard the integrity of the processes generally, including the polling units and collation centres.
“Therefore, the deployment of security personnel in all future elections should be tied to specific locations and activities.
“All security personnel deployed to polling units and collation centres should be identified by name as is the case with INEC officials.
“This will not only enhance transparency, but the commission and security agencies will know who to contact in specific locations during elections when the need arises,” he said.