The Nigerian Police Force yesterday said it was at disadvantaged to play an effective role to ensure the conduct of credible elections in Nigeria.
Speaking at a public lecture organised by the Law Students Society (LSS), University of Ilorin, Force spokes person, Mr. Frank Nmba, decried the numerical strength of the police to effectively man pooling units during elections.
The theme of the lecture is “General Elections: Challenges and Institutional Responses.”
The force spokesman said the Nigerian Police with a population of about only 4, 000 personnel were currently operating below the United Nations standard of one police man to 100 men.
Instead, he said the force is operating with one police man to 400 persons, a situation which he said was practically impossible for an unarmed police man to contain political violence and thuggery in a pooling units.
Represented by the Kwara state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Ajayi Okasanmi, Nmba also regretted that “Nigeria as a nation do not value the lives of policeme, an attitude” which he said was killing the morale of officers and men.
He said the attitudes of the nation’s politicians, judicial officers and the electorates had also not been helping the police to effectively perform it roles in ensuring credible polls, saying “we are disadvantage.”
He lamented how politicians engaged lawyers to get electoral offenders that were being prosecuted by the police to get off the hook, only for such people to continue boasting around in the society for which “every one blames the police.”
In his lecture, chairman, Independent Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Attahiru Jega represented by Kwara state Electoral Commission (KWASIEC), Chairman, Dr Uthman Ajidagba, urged Nigerians to avail themselves of the provisions of the electoral laws so as to know their rights and privileges.