As the Lagos State Local Government elections scheduled to hold this Saturday inches closer, the Commissioner of Police Lagos State, Mr. Fatai Owoseni has urged the security agencies in the state not to allow themselves be used to truncate the process.
Owoseni who made this appeal at one day training/seminar for all the security agencies that will participate in the electoral process held at the POWA secretariat at Ikeja on Wednesday reminded them that everyone was looking up to them to see what they were going to do and how they were going to do it.
He said,”So, as the different resource persons discuss with us today, let us see it as an interactive thing, where we have doubt, let us clear it and let us go with the resolve that we will not allow people to use us to truncate the process. Everyone is looking out there to see what we are going to do, how we are going to do it, there is nothing that I think that is big enough for any political gladiator or any candidate that will give us that is more than the loyalty to this country and as we used to say here, the uniform that we are wearing is far above whatever political office that they want to go and hold.
“And it os on this note that I want to urge us to please, let us discharge our responsibilities before, during and after the election within the extant rules and regulations that established each and every one our institutions so that at the end of the day, we can be seen to be above board and they won’t come to say it is any of the uniform service that has truncated the process.
“We have already a precedent, the 2015 general election was adjudged one of the best that this country has held and the security agencies were also applauded for the roles they played. If anything at all, we bear the brunt and we carry the blame for the political gladiators”.
The Lagos Police Chief maintained that security agencies don’t rig elections saying that politicians were the ones that always perpetuate whatever they want to perpetuate only for them to turn round and put the blame on the security agencies even as he pointed out that there had been so many conflicting roles given them.
According to him,”In fact, just yesterday (Tuesday), one of the crime reporters asked me, are you deploying the Army for this election? And they have forgotten that the super-ordinate law of this country, the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria has given each of the security agencies obligations with regards to primary safety and security of lives and properties and election is just one of those things that happen in the society and whether Police, whether the Air force, whether the Navy, Army, Civil Defence, Road Safety or Immigration, that we are all saddled with a responsibility. All of us know our roles, it has been spelt out in the electoral law of Lagos State. All of us know the code of conduct that guides the way that we discharge our responsibilities, if we don’t know, we will not be in this uniforms.
“So, it is not just that we are here for us to come and be told what we don’t know and as we are reminding ourselves of those responsibilities, we should also go out there that we can secure this election effectively without fear or favour and to make the whole exercise hitch-free so that at the end of the day, those observers will be able to appreciate the role that we have played”.
While emphasizing that quite a number of them had at one time or the other took part in securing the electoral process, he added that the training was for them to refresh their memories.
He therefore advised them to take the opportunity provided by the training to familiarize themselves so that they would not be getting to know themselves on the election day as well as to also know that they were working together for one purpose which was to demonstrate that as members of the security agencies, they could discharge their statutory responsibilities without fear or favour.
Present at the one day training included the Nigerian Navy, Nigerian Army, Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps, the Federal Road Safety Commission among other security agencies.
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