ABUJA- President Goodluck Jonathan has  appealed to politicians and their supporters across political parties to eschew all forms of violence and unlawful acts, either in word or conduct.
The president made the appeal when he inaugurated 363 operational vehicles for the police, being the first of the 2,564 acquired for the force, ahead of the forthcoming general elections.
Represented by Vice President Namadi Sambo, Jonathan urged the politicians to ‘’prove pundits wrong’’ and refrain from acts – either in words or conduct that might tend to divide the people.
“Let me also use this opportunity to appeal to all political parties, politicians, their supporters and sympathizers across all known divides to eschew all forms of violence and unlawful acts.
“Let us prove the pundits wrong, let us refrain from doing or saying whatever is likely to divide us.
“We should abhor and condemn all forms of violence. 2015 is already here, it shall pass away but Nigeria and Nigerians will remain indivisible, one nation and one people.’’
The president stressed that he was determined to build and bequeath to Nigerians, a well equipped, highly professional and people-oriented police that would be one of the best in the world.
He said between 2010 and 2013, the Federal Government had appropriated about N125 billion for the implementation of the Police Reform Programme.
Jonathan regretted that only the Federal Government had been providing fund for the police reform programme, which is expected to gulp N1.5 trillion over a period of six years.
According to him, the three tiers of government, organised private sector and International Development Partners are supposed to contribute to fund the programme under a Public Private Partnership initiative.
He disclosed that so far, over 65,000 personnel of the police had been trained and retrained under the programme in various skills and operational areas, including, counter-terrorism, intelligence and surveillance.
The president commended officers and men of the police force for the sacrifices they had made in securing lives and property, and sympathised with the families of officers who died in course of duty.
“In the effort of this administration to provide safety and security, officers and men of the Nigeria police are known to be at the front line combating crime.
“At the same time they are supporting the war against terrorism; many police officers have paid the supreme sacrifice
“Let me use this opportunity to inform you that I am fully aware of what you going through and I commiserate with you and offer my profound condolences.
“I appreciate, commend and salute your courage, patriotism, and selfless service to our dear country.’’
Earlier, the Inspector-General of Police, Mr Suleiman Abba, said that the acquisition of the vehicles demonstrated the commitment of government to enhance the capacity of the police for effective service delivery.
“We will utilise the vehicles judiciously in the implementation of our strategic guidelines to ensure that the election is effectively secured and generally peaceful,’’ Abba said.
The inspector-general called on other tiers of government and stakeholders to support the force to enable it confront current internal security challenge in the country.