By Patrick Obia
The Nigerian Police Force, Cross River State Command has promised residents of the State a tranquil atmosphere devoid of violence in the upcoming Saturday, March 18 governorship and State House of Assembly election.
Of recent, the polity in the State has been heated and there are insinuations from political astrologers that the governorship and State House of Assembly election in the State will witness violence and other electoral vices from political parties and their agents who see it as the last opportunity to reclaim or consolidate power.
The police in a press release signed by the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) SP Irene Ugbo for the Commissioner for Police CP Sule Balarabe, said the number one law enforcement agency will not fold their hands and allow disgruntled elements to hijack the electoral process before, during and after the election and will ensure stiff resistance meets any person or group of persons, or their sponsors with ulterior motives to cause panic in the State.
The Command, however, enjoins Cross Riverians and eligible voters to come out en mass and cast their votes for their preferred candidates.
The press release reads in part: “Cross River State Police Command under the watch of CP Sule Balarabe, FIPSS wishes to express deep gratitude to Cross Riverians, sister security agencies, community/youth leaders, IPPAC, ICCES, traditional rulers, religious leaders, and the Media for patriotism and sacrifices rendered during the just concluded Presidential and National Assembly election.
“Let me also appreciate you, officers and men attached to this Command, and friends of Police for resilience, professional conduct, and seamless sacrifices which has led the Command to stand tall without any record of fatality across the State juxtaposed with other neighboring States.
“Consequently, residents are urged to come out massively and exercise their franchise come 18th March 2023 by voting for their preferred candidates as required constitutionally. The Police Command in conjunction with other sister security agencies has concluded plans for peaceful conduct of the upcoming elections devoid of undue intimidation, political thuggery, and all forms of criminality.
“Furthermore, it is the Command resolved to be neutral with a high sense of responsibility to enable contenders or political parties to play by the rules in line with the Electoral Act, 2022 (as amended) and other relevant laws.
“Nevertheless, the Police and other security agencies will not fold their hands and allow disgruntled elements to hijack the electoral process before, during, and after elections. But will ensure stiff resistance meets any person or group of persons, or their sponsors with ulterior motives to cause panic in the State.
“It is often said information is power, hence the following helplines are provided by the Police Command, in case of emergency: 07041777060, 09156032047, 08133568456.”