Commissioner of Police, Funsho Adeboye, Speaks Out on the Thug Takeover at Edo APC Gubernatorial Primary: Democracy in Peril as Thugs Descend, Testing the Oath of a Police Officer

Feature Article Commissioner of Police, Funsho Adeboye, Speaks Out on the Thug Takeover at Edo APC Gubernatorial Primary: Democracy in Peril as Thugs Descend, Testing the Oath of a Police Officer
FEB 18, 2024 LISTEN

In a shocking twist of events detailed by Daily Trust on February 17, 2024, the expected decorum and orderliness at the collation center for the Edo APC Gubernatorial Primary were abruptly shattered by a sudden eruption of chaos. Despite the esteemed presence of the Commissioner of Police (CP), Funsho Adeboye, the atmosphere was hijacked by the disruptive presence of unruly elements?

Explaining this situation morally and democratically, especially to our children and even in the context of our beliefs, presents a profound challenge. Morally, we must emphasize the importance of integrity, honesty, and respect for the rule of law. Remember, posterity will judge us based on our actions and decisions in times of crisis.

In a spirit of transparency and fairness, it's important to clarify that there's no intention here to cast any direct blame on you, Commissioner Adeboye. It's a fact that in Nigeria's political landscape, law enforcement, including the police, have often been drawn into the fray by political leaders. Whether you were directly or indirectly influenced in this situation remains to be determined. However, it's crucial to underscore the weight of your responsibility as a police officer and the solemn oath you took to uphold the law and protect the interests of the citizens. While there may be promises of rewards or promotions for compliance, it's imperative to remember the greater moral duty at play. The eyes of the world, and indeed history itself, are upon us, bearing witness to our actions. It's a reminder that transcends personal gain or professional advancement. It's a call to honor the principles enshrined in the police oath, to uphold justice, integrity, and the rule of law, regardless of external pressures or inducements.

The atmosphere crackled with tension as suspected thugs stormed the venue, creating a tumultuous scene and instilling fear among attendees. Despite the CP's supposed role in maintaining order, the situation spiraled out of control, leading to the disruption of result collation.

Journalists, including those from esteemed media outlets such as NTA, FRCN, and Arise, fell victim to the violence, enduring physical assaults and witnessing their equipment being damaged in the chaos.

The disturbance unfolded at Lushville Hotel and Suite, GRA, Benin City, where the collation process was being broadcasted live on television. Despite the ongoing proceedings, the sudden arrival of the hoodlums brought everything to a grinding halt, plunging the venue into pandemonium.

This brazen act of violence not only undermines the democratic process but also underscores the vulnerability of electoral procedures to external disruptions. The presence of the CP at the scene raises questions about the efficacy of security measures and the enforcement of law and order during critical events.

The disturbing incident sheds light on the gross injustice and ethical breaches that permeate Nigeria's political landscape, particularly during crucial electoral processes. The selective targeting of journalists and the unchecked aggression of the thugs point to a systemic failure in upholding democratic principles and safeguarding the rights of citizens.

In the aftermath of this disturbing episode, urgent action is warranted to investigate the root causes of the disruption and hold the perpetrators accountable. The absence of swift and decisive measures to address such flagrant violations only serves to embolden those intent on undermining the democratic fabric of society.

As Edo State grapples with the fallout from this brazen act of violence, it is imperative for law enforcement authorities to restore public confidence in the electoral process and ensure that justice is served. Anything less would constitute a grave disservice to the principles of democracy and the rule of law.

The discrepancy in the locations targeted by the thugs raises concerning questions about the motives behind the disruptions. It appears that the thugs specifically targeted the Lushville Hotel, where Dr. Stanley Ugboajah, the State Returning Officer, was announcing the results. This suggests a deliberate attempt to disrupt the official announcement process and create chaos at a critical juncture in the electoral proceedings.

On the other hand, the Protea Hotel, where Imo State Governor Hope Uzodimma announced Dennis Idahosa as the winner, was not subjected to similar violent interruptions. This disparity in treatment between the two venues raises suspicions about potential bias or manipulation behind the attacks.

The fact that the disruption occurred while the returning officer was in the process of announcing results further underscores the severity of the situation. It indicates a blatant disregard for the integrity of the electoral process and highlights the vulnerability of such events to external interference and intimidation tactics.

The selective targeting of specific venues and the timing of the disruptions suggest a coordinated effort to undermine the legitimacy of the electoral outcome. This raises serious concerns about the fairness and transparency of the entire process and underscores the need for thorough investigations into the incidents to ensure accountability and uphold the rule of law.

Commissioner Adeboye, given the targeted disruption at the Lushville Hotel during the APC governorship primary announcement, questions have arisen about the efficacy of law enforcement measures and potential indications of foul play. Can you provide insights into the police's actions during the event and address any concerns about the handling of the situation, including allegations of collusion or negligence?

Democratically, we must underscore the fundamental principles of democracy, which include the right to free and fair elections, transparency, and accountability. We must teach our children that in a democracy, every citizen has a voice and a vote, and that these rights must be respected and protected by those in positions of authority.

In the eyes of our faith and beliefs, we must remind ourselves and our children of the importance of righteousness, justice, and compassion. We must teach them that our actions are ultimately judged not only by our fellow humans but also by a higher power, whether we call it God or by any other name. We must instill in them the belief that integrity and righteousness are paramount, and that no amount of power or influence can justify actions that go against these principles.

In essence, we must use this unfortunate incident as a teachable moment, imparting to our children the values of morality, democracy, and faith. We must show them that even in the face of chaos and corruption, there are still virtues worth upholding, and that it is our responsibility, as individuals and as a society, to strive for a better, more just world.

Let it be known that I am neither a supporter of any of the political parties nor players. I come with democratic pains, recognizing the urgent need for change.