The police in Osun State have raised an alarm over alleged plots by political thugs to unleash mayhem during Thursday’s rerun election in seven polling units in four local government areas.
The supplementary polls are being held to determine the winner of the governorship election which the Independent National Electoral Commission declared inconclusive on Sunday.
Deputy Inspector-General of Police (Operations) in charge of the Osun governorship election, Joshak Habila, said at a press conference in Osogbo on Wednesday that the police had made ready personnel to provide security for voters and electoral officials.
“We have an intelligence report that there is a grand plan to turn the election gruesomely violent and deadly by arming thugs to unleash mayhem at polling centres,” the statement said.
“As law enforcement agencies, the police and other security agencies would not permit the breakdown of law and order. Those of them preparing for ‘fire for fire’ must be ready to bear the consequences of their actions which are designed to undermine this particular democratic process.
“It should be noted that the Nigeria Police Force will remain proactive and would not rest on its oars in its task to decode the identities of those democratic enemies.
“Residents are requested to be law abiding and go about their lawful duties without fear and with the full assurance of the protection of law abiding citizens and voters who are out there to exercises their franchise.”
Mr Habila recalled that last Saturday’s governorship election was free, fair and peaceful, with very few incidents of breach of the peace and threat to life and property.
He said the election was however declared inconclusive by INEC with a re-run election fixed for Thursday.
According to him, the police and other law enforcement agencies had been deployed to maintain law and order and protect lives and property of the residents of Osun during the exercise.
“In the areas where re-run election is to be held, only eligible voters with their voting cards and other personnel with due accreditation would be allowed to come near the polling units,” stressed Mr Habila.
“Residents should report all suspicious activities to the Police, such as solicitation for votes, buying of Permanent Voters Cards (PVC) and any plan to rig or disrupt the election,” he said.
“Troublemakers and other interlopers are warned to keep away from the polling units and indeed from any part of the state. The police and other security agencies will leave no stone unturned to protect lives and property and maintain peace.”
The election is expected to hold in seven polling units in four local government areas of the state, namely, Ife North, Ife South, Orolu and Osogbo.
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