The Jigawa Commissioner of Police, Mr Usman Gwamna, has ordered armed policemen to stay away from polling units during Saturday’s bye-election for Babura/Garki Federal Constituency in the state.
Gwamna gave the directive in Ringim, Jigawa, while addressing about 700 officers and men deployed for the exercise.
The police chief also signed a peace accord with all the three political parties participating in the election before addressing his personnel.
“We are not expecting those with firearms at the polling units. Take note, we don’t want to see anybody around the polling units with firearms.
“But you will be on patrol waiting for emergency, waiting for complaints to intervene, that is all those of you with firearms can do. But you don’t go to polling units with firearms,” he said.
Gwamna, however, said that “those with firearms are equally guided, the conditions for using firearms are still there and those conditions must be applicable, is not permissible that you start using it wrongly.”
The police chief reminded the personnel that the review of the force order on the use and abuse of firearms was still in force.
“Before now, the Commissioner of Police and the Inspector General of Police will be sued but now you would be sued personally and will take responsibility for your actions, so be guided.
“For those of you who would be using firearms, most of you are not going to use firearms during election, but if you have your batten, it give you some confidence and respect,” Gwamna said.
He also advised officers and men to be very vigilant, adding: “First and foremost, you have to be vigilant. Vigilance is always our problem.
“You must stay at alert at all times. Sometimes you would be there and things would be happening. As you are going, I want to you to be at alert.
“Apart from that, you should be very conversant with the electoral laws.
He, however, urged the officers and men to be on watch out for issues related to electoral offences, such as under-age voting, hoodlums tampering with materials and vote-buying.
On fundamental human rights issue, the police chief advised officers and men to always be polite to civil society, especially those who are out to exercise their franchise.
“All the things we have said in carrying our your duties must be done professionally. You must do your jobs without violating the provisions of human rights.
He also urged them to strictly adhere to the application of electoral procedures in their conduct during the election, adding that they were to ensure that voters adhere to electoral procedures.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that a total of 1,680 Ad-hoc staff were penciled for the bye election by 17,778 registered voters across the 302 official polling units in Garki and Babura Federal Constituency.
NAN reports that the bye-election was to replace Alhaji Muhammadu Adamu Fagen Gawo, Member, House of Representatives, who died in office on Dec. 31, 2019.
The participating parties are the All Progressives Congress (APC), Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the Action Democratic Party (ADP) (NAN).