Police officers who were drafted from others states were paid a paltry N2,000 daily allowance during the just concluded gubernatorial election in Anambra State, PREMIUM TIMES has learnt.
The election held last Saturday in the 21 local government areas in the state, with a rescheduled poll in 65 polling units in Obosi, Idemili North, holding the next day.
But three days to the election day, security agents, including the police, started arriving the state to provide security during and after voting.
“We arrived here since Wednesday and we have been sleeping outside. The N2,000 we were paid is expected to cover feeding, accommodation, and other expenses,” a police officer, who did not want to be named for fear of victimization, told PREMIUM TIMES.
Efforts to reach Frank Mba, the Police Public Relations Officer, were not successful.
Phone calls and text messages were not responded to.
A preliminary report released by CLEEN Foundation on the conduct of security officials during the election stated that security agencies, including the police, deployed a sizable number of personnel for the election.
“Most police officers at the polling units complained of lack of provision of accommodation, feeding and transportation for them,” said the report, which had support from the Justice for All Program of DFID.
“This was most common amongst police officers deployed from Imo, Lagos, Osun, and Kwara states, some having arrived Anambra on Monday, 11 November 2013, and have had to sleep in empty school buildings,” the report added.
While singling out the police for commendation in their conduct of most of its officers deployed for the election, the report noted that security officials were more crowded in urban areas.
“But in spite of the logistics challenges, security officials, especially the police, conducted themselves professionally. They were commendably alert, approachable and impartial,” the report said.
“However, there were some reports of police officers who were slightly drunk or seen drinking during the election.
“This is in clear contravention of their Code of Conduct and should be addressed accordingly,” it added.
CLEEN Foundation recommended that the Nigeria Police Force, the Ministry of Police Affairs, and the National Orientation Agency should widely disseminate the Code of Conduct for the Police.
It also urged the Police Service Commission to take disciplinary measures against erring officials identified during elections.
“Security agencies are urged to plan ahead of each election and ensure adequate logistics provision for personnel it will be deploying to cater for their welfare while on electoral duty and minimize their vulnerability to compromise,” the report stated in its recommendation.