by Kolapo Olapoju
Apparently, somebody/some-persons/some-bodies may have reached out to the Police force and given them a tutorial on voters’ right and the electoral law… we are relieved.
After insisting that voters had no business staying behind at the polling units after casting their votes, the much-maligned Nigerian Police Force, for some reason(s), has had a change of heart.
The Inspector-General of Police, Suleiman Abba, had initially said there was no need for voters to remain at polling points after casting their votes because two or three policemen would be stationed at every polling unit to guard their votes.
Abba had said: “Cast your votes and go and cool down. If you remain there, there is a likelihood that you will commit an offence.”
However, for the first time in what seems like an eternity, the Independent National Electoral Commission, the All Progressives Congress and the Peoples Democratic Party were in accord in their disposition to the Police boss’ warning.
They immediately released statements saying there was no aspect of the electoral law that prohibited voters from stay behind to monitor ballot counting.
Having listened to their collective flawed voices of reason, the Force through its spokesperson, Emmanuel Ojukwu, said that people could stay behind as long as they maintained the peace, and obeyed the electoral guidelines.
Ojukwu said: “Anybody who commits any offence against the Electoral Act would be dealt with in line with the law. Voters are free to stay behind if they chose to.”