The Chairman of the Police Service Commission (PSC), Mr. Parry Osayande, Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG Rtd.), has warned against election manipulauion, rigging and electoral violence saying they are treasonable offences.
He stated this while playing host to members of a coalition of the Civil Society Organisations (CSOs)who paid him a courtesy call recently.
According to him, electoral manipulation whether violent or otherwise subverts the will of the people and should be punished under the laws.
He assured of the commission’s preparedness to ensure that the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) was not used as a tool in the rigging of elections by self serving politicians.
He maintained that the Police Service Commission, in exercising its oversight functions over the police would ensure that their conduct during elections would meet international best practices.
Osayande appealed to the Coalition of Civil Society Groups, the media and all citizens of Nigeria to participate massively in their various capacities in the campaign against electoral violence in the forthcoming general elections and beyond.
Earlier, the leader of the delegation, Comrade Mashood Erubami, the coalition agreed to work together to monitor the year 2011 general elections having recognised that past efforts at individual Groups Monitoring did not make for effective and desired output.
According to him, the visit was informed by the coalitions’ desire for credible, free and fair elections in 2011, devoid of violence, as well as the desire to express their satisfaction at the way the commission was discharging its oversight functions with respect to the NPF.
He commended the leadership of the PSC for the critical role it had played in stemming the tide of election manipulations in Nigeria, noting that the successes of the February 6, 2010 gubernatorial election in Anambra State and the local government election in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) were as a result of the commission’s proactive efforts in policing the police.
They called for a closer working relationship with the commission and solicited for the establishment of a code of conduct which would guide police operations during the electioneering campaigns to ensure that the lives and property of citizens and electoral materials would be safe-guarded during the elections.