President Muhammadu Buhari has warned Nigeria Police Force officers not to get involved in politics.
Buhari made the remarks yesterday in Owerri, Imo State.
He charged them with perfecting operational plans that will ensure credible results in the 2023 general elections. While remaining apolitical, steadfast, and committed to democratic values.
Buhari opened the three-day senior police officers’ conference and retreat. And directed the Police to conduct a review of current and evolving internal security threats that may have an impact on peaceful and successful elections.
The President in a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, said: ‘’As I have often observed, elections are local. And it is only when the votes truly count that the faith of the citizens in the democratic process can be demonstrated and government legitimacy assured.
‘’This can best be guaranteed through a well policed election and security operations that are impartial, firm and professional.
‘’This is what, on this day and occasion, I charge the Nigeria Police Force to deliver to the nation during the 2023 general elections.
‘’I, therefore, task the Inspector General of Police to sustain his leadership standards. That will guarantee a level playing field, and secure public space for the citizens. To freely exercise their franchise, and for the outcome of the elections to be true reflection of the peoples’ choices.”
He assured the force of his full support and encouragement in the build-up to the 2023 polls. The President also expressed delight that the reforms undertaken under his watch were paying off. With members of the Force demonstrating high professional, ethical and operational standards, reflected in performances in internal security operations.
He cited the conduct of the Police during the recent off-season electoral outings in some states. President Buhari said: ‘’My desire is to restore the primacy of the Police towards rebuilding public trust and professionalism.
‘’My vision is also to bequeath to the nation a Police Force that is not only modernized. But well-funded, suitably equipped, and appropriately re-oriented to effectively police our democracy. And guarantee a stable internal security order under a citizen-led, technology-driven, rule of law guided by intelligence-based policing Models.
‘’I am inspired that by our reform initiatives, we have laid a solid foundation towards the restoration of the operational competence and professional efficiency of the Police.
‘’I am also pleased to note that our Police, in conformity to my democratic visions, and in manifestation of the positive impact of these reforms, have in recent times been demonstrating high professional, ethical and operational standards as reflected in their performances in internal security operations and during the recent off-season electoral outings in Edo, Anambra, Ekiti, and Osun states.’’