From Steph Clem, Umuahia
A Professor of Criminology in the University of Jos, Plateau State, Professor Etannibi Alemika has attributed the reason for inefficient manner the Nigerian Police handle security issues to poor funding, delay in releasing funds, and lack of sophisticated equipment.
He stated this while delivering a lecture at a stakeholders workshop towards a violence free 2015 general elections held at the Michael Okpara Auditorium in Umuahia, Abia state.
The workshop which was organised by the Abia state police command had the police, the military, officials of INEC and political parties representatives as well as the public in attendance.
Professor Alemika in his presentation titled “Violent free 2015 general elections”, observed that there is need to adequately equip the police and other security agencies to enable them tackle present day crime as they relate to elections.
He also observed that part of the reasons there is violence during elections, is when candidates appear to have been imposed on the masses, saying people must be given the opportunity to elect who they desire.
“free people should freely choose who they want to rule them”, he said.
He further stated that the problem with elections in the country arise because the electorate have failed to understand the purpose of elections and why they need to see their voters’ cards as their strength and power to choose their preferred candidates.
He said it is the duty of the electorate to hold the politicians accountable and make the electoral body become more efficient in the discharge of its responsibility.
He said because the electorates are willing to sell their cards for a piece of bread, they have made elections so cheap and affordable for the politicians.
Declaring the one day seminar open, governor of the state represented by the deputy governor, Sir Emeka Ananaba, commended the police for initiating the workshop, saying its benefits cannot be over emphasised.
According to him, what should be uppermost in the minds of everyone is the stability of the state and nation in general and not personal interest.
He enjoined all stakeholders to take to heart whatever that will be dished out by the resource persons and ensure that they put in their best towards achieving a hitch and violence free elections in 2015.
The state Resident Electoral Commissioner, Professor Jacob Jatau who also delivered a lecture on the legal aspect of elections, emphasised the need for all and sundry to play the game by the rules.
He equally advocated for proper funding of the police and the need to train them effectively.
The commissioner of police in the state, Mr. Adamu Ibrahim, said the seminar was at the instance of the IGP, saying the police want to be proactive in election matters hence the workshop was organised.
He assured that the police would not compromise during the elections which is why according to him they have gathered experts on issues relating to elections to educate, inform and sensitize them.