2019 polls : Any election marred by violence loses credibility – Abia CP
By Steve Oko
Commissioner of Police Abia State, Mr. Chris Ezike, has said that any election marred by violence loses its credibility.
Ezike who made the assertion when he received in audience, the leadership of the Correspondents Chapel of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, Abia State, expressed deep concern over some danger signals ahead of the 2019 polls.
He frowned at the rising cases of destruction of campaign posters and billboards of political office seekers by their opponents or paid agents, saying such ugly development is a precursor to electoral violence.
The police boss, therefore, solicited the assistance of the media against electoral violence through sensitisation and education of the public on the dangers of the menace.
He warned politicians and their supporters against any act capable of triggering electoral violence which he said must not go unpunished.
His words : ” Violence is an evil wind that does no man any good. Election marred by violence can’t be said to be credible. That is why the police will not allow anything that can lead to violence in the forthcoming elections “.
The CP also decried the inherent dangers of fake news and cautioned journalists against peddling fake news.
” Fake news breeds electoral violence. When you publish fake news you trigger the anger threshold of one party or politician against the other who only realise themselves after collateral damages must have been recorded.
” Some are given to half truth, some to lies and some to disparaging public officers. Fake news is no longer limited to the social media, it also abounds even in the traditional media. “
Apparently referring to the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra, IPOB which has consistently called for the boycott of the polls, the police boss said “it is a grevious offense against the state ” to make such calls.
He warned them to desist from such calls or brace up for the bitter consequences.
“For those who go about saying election won’t hold they are not only committing treasonable offense but offense against the state “, he said.
The CP promised to work together with journalists as partners in progress and as fellow critical stakeholders in the 2019 project.
” We will carry all media houses along because you are very important to us. We are not going to ignore you and if we have done so in the past, we won’t do it again. “
He also promised to provide adequate police protection for journalists involved in the 2019 election coverage while however, advising that such newsmen should be properly identified and accredited by the electoral umpire.
Ezike commended journalists for their critical role in society and sacrifices towards the growth of democracy, and for publicising the activities of the police in Abia.
Earlier in his remarks, Chairman of the Correspondents Chapel, NUJ, Comrade Obinna Ibe, commended the new CP for the many successes so far recorded under his watch.
He assured him of the full cooperation of journalists in promoting the activities of the police in the command , and solicited police assistance in checkmating fake journalists.
Ibe specifically requested police protection for journalists on election duty, contending that it is not fair for the police to provide security for politicians while journalists who risk their lives in election coverage are left unprotected.
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