The Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Mr Imohimi Edgal, on Tuesday called for peaceful electioneering campaign as he meets transport stakeholders in the state.
Edgal made the call while addressing representatives from State/ Branches/Units and the Executives of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria (RTEAN) and their affiliated unions.
The commissioner commended the union for displaying decency and discipline, which he said led to partnership from the police and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
He urged them to be law abiding, describing the union as an integral part of the forthcoming election.
According to him, this is why INEC has decided to partner with the union for the provision of logistics during the election.
“You know people still have the mindset that you are still the union of those days not knowing you have grown past the period of violence.
“They believe if there is any form of violence, it will be from you and I always try to convince them that you have transformed.
“Election is here and campaign has started. Just like the police, we are not the problem but our boys. How do we stop them from not being used?
“If you look at it, those contesting for various political posts will not put their children on the field.
“This is why I am telling you to call a general meeting among yourselves and tell your people to campaign peacefully and not to allow anyone to use them,” he said.
The CP, however, said he wondered what people gain when they fight and kill themselves during elections.
He added that the union would also partner with two sections of the police — the Special Investigation Bureau (SIB) and the Bomb Disposal Unit.
“The SIB will help to profile the drivers you are providing for INEC, so that they can be tracked if involved in violence and the Bomb Disposal Unit will screen the buses you provide before they move,” Edgal said.
He also urged the union to set up a disciplinary committee, to sanction their members whenever they err, advising the union to be vigilant and report strange faces as parks were usually their default hiding place.
The INEC Administrative Secretary in Lagos, Mr Asade Ganiu, who represented the Lagos REC also urged the members of the union to conduct themselves peacefully as they partner with INEC.
“INEC needs your cooperation as you are a critical stakeholder. INEC doesn’t have the capacity and this is why we need to partner with you for the success of the election.
“We thank you for your cooperation during the last election and we hope that you give us the same cooperation. We will still be meeting with your leaders to let them know the number of vehicles, motorcycles and boats we need.
“In the past some drivers after conveying election materials to the polling unit failed to bring them back after being paid.
“Please search yourself and give us your best drivers, to make the election a successful one,” Ganiu said.
The State Chairman NURTW, Tajudeen Agbede, thanked the police and INEC for the meeting, stressing that the union would continue to demonstrate decency as they partner with necessary authorities for the success of the election.
“We are already in partnership with the police and we will cooperate with INEC to make the election a peaceful one.
“We will provide vehicles, drivers and also monitor our members, in all local government areas in the state.
“We have come with peace and we will take the message to our members,” Agbede said. (NAN)