By Efa Sunday
The Commissioner of Police in Cross River State, Mr. Hafiz Inuwa may have sparked controversy when on Wednesday said the job of the police is to “follow” and “protect” election materials.
CP Hafiz stated this while explaining the role of the police in electioneering processes at the maiden Cross River State political summit organised by the FAD Media Group in Calabar .
While reacting to allegations of security agencies been involved in election rigging especially in the 2007 and 20015 general elections, CP Hafiz who was represented by an Assistant Commissioner of Police, Dr. Cletus Nwadiogbu said the job of the police was only to protect materials.
“That allegation is not true. It is not fair for you to say that men of the Nigerian police are involved in election malpractices. We are not INEC, we don’t know what and how INEC do their thing. The primary responsibility of the police is to protect lives and property.
“Then the question is, do men of the Nigeria Police vote? the answer is no, do we handle election materials? The answer is still no, are we INEC? The answer is no. So it is important therefore to note that all we do is just to protect election materials on the day of voting.
“It doesn’t matter if it is being taken into the river, we follow it and protect it to the river, as long as it is election materials,” said ACP Nwadiogu.
This drew an uproar from attendees. But, ACP Nwadiogu continued: “Members of the Nigerian Police are not partisan and so will not be subjected to any form of inducement by members of any political party.”
However, he said that: “As much as it is the duty of police to protect, the agency must also see to it that it protects the rights of every Nigerians as displayed through their votes.”
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