President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday in Owerri charged the Nigeria Police Force to perfect operational plans that will guarantee a credible outcome in the 2023 general elections while remaining apolitical, firm, and loyal to democratic values.
Declaring open the three-day Conference and Retreat for Senior Police Officers, the President directed the Police to review the current and evolving internal security threats as they may impact on peaceful and successful elections.
”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 a true reflection of the peoples’ choices,” he said.
Assuring the force of his full support and encouragement in the build-up to the 2023 polls, the President expressed delight that the reforms undertaken under his watch are paying off with members of the Force demonstrating high professional, ethical and operational standards, reflected in performances in internal security operations.
Citing 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.”