Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG) Adeleye Oyebade has said the just- concluded governorship election in Edo turned out peaceful owing to months of planning and dedication as well as collaboration of security agents.
He said there was multi-level security strategy, which ensured attention was given to all possible triggers of violence whether it directly involved the election or not.
Oyebade, who spoke with The Nation, commended officers and men for making the police proud.
He said: “I have said it before that proper planning prevents poor performance. We started the planning for this very election months back. We started by planning the operational strategy and then trained the personnel that will come.
“We put in the logistics that will be used including the number of men, allowance/welfare of the men, vehicles and all other equipment needed to achieve huge success.
“We ensured that as focus was on the election, other crimes such as armed robbery, rape among others, were not left unattended. So, we deployed tactical and special squads across the state with specific missions.”
Oyebade said the police also welcomed constructive criticisms from the civil society and the public on previous elections, which they worked assiduously to ensure such were not repeated.
“Before the deployment for this election, selection was carefully carried out and our men received trainings on how to be courteous, polite, humble and professional.
“They were also trained on how to quickly identify threats and tackle them headlong.
“The police as at today have been able to come of age; we have been able to address more, various problems at the same time.
“Even though we are looking at election problems, we are still looking at other ways to curb other heinous crimes. Talking about post- election, we are still very much on ground. We are still monitoring reactions following the announcement of result,” he said.
Oyebade said the successes attained could be replicated during the general elections once there’s adequate planning.
“It is a lot of improvement for the police to be able to look inward, work in synergy with sister agencies and then gain the trust and confidence needed from members of the public to be able to achieve all of these.”
Asked why security was unable to curb incidences of vote buying during the election, the DIG said it had to do more with the mindset and disposition of voters.
He said all those caught with evidence of voter inducement were taken into custody and would be prosecuted.
“I know with time they will desist especially when the people’s confidence in the electoral process is restored.
“The criminals will be there but what is needed is the technical ability to capture what they transact and to be able to use as evidential requirement in prosecution. We will get it right.
“I remember that I was asked if I can put my integrity at stake and I said yes because I know it’s about leadership.
“Here we are today. So, if we all know that we have our names to protect, we will do everything possible to ensure that those following you stand for honesty, dedication and most importantly, work with the fear of God.”