The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has decried the presence of VIPs trooping in from other states to Ondo for Saturday’s governorship election.
Such VIPs are public officials who have armed security escorts accompanying them as they move around the city, INEC said.
The Resident Electoral Commissioner in the state, Olusegun Agbaje, told PREMIUM TIMES in a telephone interview on Friday that any persons who do not have any business with the Ondo election should not be seen around during the election.
“We are aware that there are some VIP’s who have come into the state with their armed security men,” he said.
“The security agencies have been alerted on the development, and we have told them to arrest any of such persons who attempt to act in breach of the electoral law.”
PREMIUM TIMES observed that such persons had poured into Akure, the state capital, and its environs and had fully booked most of the choice hotels around.
“We advise them to stay put in their hotels and not come out, or they will be arrested and dealt with appropriately,” Mr Agbaje said.
He noted that the electorate had been told to be vigilant should they see such personalities moving around the electoral areas.
“The people should be alive to their responsibilities,” he said. ” I believe that the voters will not allow them and should be able to speak out when they see such a thing.”
The Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, had assured that the orderlies for VIPs would be withdrawn during the election to avoid the temptation of being used to intimidate voters.
He also promised to ensure that only accredited security personnel for the election would be allowed close to the voting areas.
“They (VIPs) should stay in their hotels and should not come out to intimidate our voters, if they do, they will be arrested,” Mr. Agbaje warned.