29th March, 2011
In order to ensure that the forthcoming April general elections are violence-free, the Police Service Commission, PSC, has issued guidelines to police officers that will be on election duty.
The commission stressed that police officers on election duty must be prompt in responding to any crisis at the polling and counting centres because it can escalate if not properly handled.
The officers were also advised on the need to be approachable and accessible to voters who might need their assistance.
According to the PSC, â€œthis provides the NPF an invaluable opportunity to contribute towards the much-need peaceful transition from one civilian administration to another. By performing this function creditably, NPF also improves the image of the organisation and their relationship with Nigerians.â€
Professionalism on the part of the officers on election duty was another area that the PSC made reference to. The commission said they must maintain professional demeanour throughout their election duties.
â€œPolice personnel must be fair, courteous and if necessary, firm to all persons in their area of deployment, without concern for the party which they belong to. Any evidence or indication that a police officer on electoral duty showed bias towards one political party or another in any form will be investigated by the PSC, with appropriate disciplinary action taken against the person,â€ the commission warned.
The commission also charged every police officer on election duty to have good working knowledge of the electoral law, especially the section on electoral offences, which the police are obliged to enforce.
It, however, urged unit commanders to brief and communicate contents of the electoral law to the men and women under their command