The Police Command in Gombe has assured residents of the state of its readiness to ensure adequate security before, during and after the 2023 election.
The Commissioner of Police, Oqua Etim stated this at a stakeholders’ meeting on preparations for the 2023 general election, on Wednesday in Gombe.
He said the command would deploy its personnel towards ensuring peaceful, free and fair election in the state.
Etim said the relative peace being enjoyed in the state would be guarded with the support of other security agencies and stakeholders.
“Under my watch as the Commissioner of Police, Gombe State and with the support of my fellow security agencies, we will ensure that no unscrupulous elements truncate the democracy we are enjoying,” he said.
He urged political parties and candidates to caution their supporters as anyone caught would be made to face the full weight of the law.
The Commissioner expressed dismay over the recent attacks on political parties’ billboards, banners and offices during campaigns, adding, “whoever is caught with cutlass or any weapons will be treated like criminal.
“Billboards do not win elections; they (billboards) do not have PVCs, so why the attack on billboards?
“There is no need to fight; if you fight and kill yourself, set the state on fire, will there be elections?
“Gombe is one people; one state, let’s work together to ensure a peaceful conduct of elections in the state.”
He said the command had arrested some people during electioneering campaigns, adding that efforts are being made to rid the state of criminals in the interest of peace and security of the citizens.
Also, the Resident Electoral Commissioner in the state, Alhaji Umar Ibrahim appealed to stakeholders to play their roles towards ensuring the smooth conduct of the election.
Ibrahim said: “The conduct of credible election is not the responsibility of INEC alone; free, fair, credible, peaceful, all inclusive and accountable elections are a product of concerted efforts by all stakeholders”.
The REC called on political parties and candidates to conduct their activities within the purview of the provisions of the Electoral Act 2022.
“We have noticed sadly some undemocratic vices such as destruction of party posters and billboards, clashes between supporters of opposing parties since the commencement of thecampaigns.
“Always remember that elections will come and go but Gombe State will remain our abode,” he added.