Ahead of the September 22 governorship election in Osun State, the police on Wednesday warned political parties against flouting the Electoral Act.
The warning was issued in Osogbo at a stakeholders meeting organised by the National Orientation Agency (NOA) in collaboration with a German Foundation, Konrad Adenauer Stiftung.
The Commissioner of Police in the state, Fimihan Adeoye, who issued the warning, also urged political leaders and their followers to conduct themselves in line with the Electoral Act or face the wrath of the law.
Mr Adeoye, who was represented by the Deputy Commissioner in charge of operations, Muhammed Abu, said the command would not condone any act of indiscipline and lawlessness.
He further warned the youth not to allow themselves to be used as political thugs, saying anybody caught would be prosecuted.
“I want to sound a note of warning to all the political thugs to vacate the state immediately as the command would not condone any act of indiscipline or allow anybody to truncate the peaceful atmosphere in the state.
“Osun Police command has zero tolerance for violence as we do not know any political party, so anybody caught fomenting trouble would be decisively dealt with,” he said.
The Director General of NOA, Garba Abari, urged political parties taking part in the governorship election to shun violence.
Mr Abari said the meeting was convened to create awareness on the need for good political culture and credible electoral process.
“As an agency, we would want to have a Nigeria where our political parties will stand as developmental models, where elections will be devoid of violence,’’ he said.
Yomi Olasinde, the NOA Director in Osun, said the agency was disturbed about the reports of vote buying during elections.
Ms Olasinde said it was also unfortunate that apathy as well as low level of women participation in the electioneering process were still common in the polity.
She said the agency was determined to sensitise the public, especially youth, on the need to desist from activities capable of causing crisis in the state before, during and after elections.
Ms Olasinde also urged politicians to desist from the habit of seducing the electorate with money at polling booths.
She called on security agencies to ensure the safety of election observers, voters and other stakeholders who have constitutional roles to play during the poll.
The meeting had in attendance representatives of political parties, traditional rulers, human rights organisations as well as religious leaders. (NAN)