The Inspector-General of Police, IGP, Usman Baba, has urged Nigerians not to exercise any doubt on whether the 2023 general elections will take place or not.
Mr Baba made the plea on Monday in Ibadan at the opening ceremony of a four-day conference organised for the Police Public Relations Officers, PPROs, across the country.
The theme of the workshop is: “Strengthening Strategic Communication Toward Police Reforms, Security and Integrity of 2023 Election”.
The IGP said that the police, in synergy with other sister security agencies, would ensure free, fair and credible 2023 general elections.
“The 2023 general elections will hold, we have done it before when people came up and raise different doubt about election in Edo, Ekiti, Anambra and Osun States, we did it and recorded huge successes.
“We remain strategic on our actions and in synergy with other security agencies, there is nothing to fear about 2023 general elections,” Baba said.
Represented by Johnson Kokumo, the Deputy Inspector-General of Police (DIG) in charge of South-West zone, the IGP said that police would not rest on their oars to ensure that they give Nigerians an election that would be free, credible and transparent.
On the workshop, Mr Baba said that the Police Public Relations Officers are image makers of the force and whatever they do might either have a positive or negative consequences on the Police force.
He urged all the PPROs to be “a good communicator, not only in speaking, but also to be able to communicate meaningfully to the public and change their attitude”.
Also, the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, urged the police spokespersons to always take into cognizant the security and unity of Nigeria, while communicating with the public.
Mr Mohammed, represented by Ibidapo Okunnu, the Director of Production, Publication and Documentation, said that hate speech and fake news could lead to civil unrest and impact negatively on the society.
He lauded the courage of the police and other security agencies in the country for maintaining law and order in the society.
In her remarks, Adanna Adi-Okafor of the Department of Police Reform and Transformation Office, PORTO, said the ENDSARs crisis had revealed that there was need to reform and trained police in their attitude with the public.
Mrs Adi-Okafor said that since establishment of the Department, under the presidency, it has trained no fewer than 250 police officers on how to manage the public, especially as the 2023 general election approaches.
Earlier, the Force Public Relations Officer, CSP Muyiwa Adejobi, said that no fewer than 37 Commands and 17 Zonal PPROs were attending the conference organised by PPROs Department.
Mr Adejobi said that police must be adequately informed and reformed for peace to reign in Nigeria and for the country to get it right.
He said that IGP had put many measures in place to reform the police and ensure credible election.
Mr Adejobi said the force was sure that the participants would be more reformed and knowledgeable and be able to discharge their duties effectively at the end of the conference.
Highlight of the occasion was the presentation of letter of commendation to some outstanding Police Public Relations Officers, among whom was the PPRO in Oyo State Command, SP. Adewale Osifeso.