2023 Election: Ex-AIG Rates Police Performance As Nigeria Records 183 Cases Of Violence
A retired Assistant Inspector-General (AIG) of Police, Austin Iwar, has described the performance of the Nigeria Police Force as poor, given the number of cases recorded across the country during the February 25 and March 18 elections.
A security think tank, Beacon Consulting, reported that at least 183 cases of violence were recorded before, during and after the elections.
The data, made available to THE WHISTLER, was collated between February 1 and March 21.
Lagos was said to have recorded at least 19 cases of violence within the period in view.
Other States include Kano -18, Rivers -18, Delta -11, Zamfara -9, Borno -8, Ebonyi -8, Anambra -7, Cross River -7, Gombe -7, Imo -7, Kaduna -7, Bauchi -6, Kogi -6, Adamawa -6, Enugu -6, FCT -4, Osun -4, Akwa Ibom -3, Benue -3, Yobe -3, Oyo -3, Ogun -2, Abia -2, Sokoto -2, Taraba -1, Plateau -1, Katsina -1, Ondo -1, Jigawa -1, Bayelsa -1 and Nasarawa -1.
THE WHISTLER gathered that most of the cases categorized include ballot box snatching, destruction of polling booths, political thuggery, gun attacks, kidnapping, and the murder of voters and officials of the Independent Electoral Commission (INEC).
Speaking on the matter, the retired AIG told THE WHISTLER that the Inter-Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security (ICCES) headed by the Nigeria Police had performed poorly, specifically in the just concluded governorship and state houses of assembly elections.
“If I am to rate the security management of this election out of 10, I will give them four, and by giving them four, I am just being kind because the security situation was worse in the governorship election than the presidential.
“More people were disenfranchised through violence than that of the presidential election. More polling booths experienced violence and voter intimation, and the general disfranchisement witnessed during the election,” he said.
The retired senior officer noted that based on the reports of various media organisations and social media platforms, “it is obvious that nothing was done to cushion the tide of violence, even in terms of strategies by the police”.
He added, “We saw individuals that came out to make violent statements against certain people and were not arrested.
“I even saw the video of policemen in a polling unit controlling the crowd of women lined up to collect money. That is wrong and against the ethics of policing and election Act”.
He further noted that the police need to work on training, values and ethics of the profession.
Iwar also added that security agencies should thoroughly analyse what went wrong during the elections, and how they can prepare better for the next election coming up later in the year.