Acting Inspector General of Police Mohammed Adamu has said that the roles of the Police and media are critical in ensuring that the forthcoming elections are free, fair, and critical.
The police boss said while the police must ensure security of the process and remain nonpartisan, the media must ensure that accurate information concerning the polls are passed to the public.
Adamu stated this during the opening ceremony of a training to strengthen media-police relations in context of elections in Nigeria organised by the International Media Support (IMS), and Media Foundation for West Africa (MAWA) in collaboration with the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Thursday in Abuja.
The Police boss, while commending the organisers of the training noted that the police and the media have enjoyed a long-standing relationship working together for the betterment of society and expressed hope that the relationship would be sustained especially during the general elections.
The Police boss, who assured that the police would handle the forthcoming general elections professionally, said personnel of the Nigeria Police have been undergone trainings to prepare them to provide a safe and conducive atmosphere during the elections.
The IGP, who was represented by Commissioner of Police in charge of the FCT Bala Ciroma further stated that officers and men to be deployed on elections duty have strict instruction to be non-partisan.
He said: “On the part of the Nigeria Police, just like we are here for a training in collaboration with the NUJ, we have trained and re-trained ourselves, so that we can deliver during the forthcoming elections.
“We have been collaborating with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and other NGOs for training, this has improved the quality of policing generally. The impact of these trainings will be clearly seen during the forthcoming elections.”
Speaking in the vein, INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, said the Commission has supported security agencies to prepare for the upcoming polls.
He said the Commission has trained the police as the lead agency for securing the elections to understand the role of the media during elections.
Yakubu, who was represented by the Assistant Director Broadcast Media at INEC, Mr. Chukwuemeka Ogbuaja, further said the Commission had explained the need for security personnel not to harrass journalists.
“We want to appeal to heads of security agencies to please instruct your men not to harrass journalists.
“Journalists are critical to the process and this is why we are making this passionate appeal that they be treated with utmost respect.”