ONDO DECIDES: Police assures of security, says 25 already arrested for firearms possession
As the people of Ondo State go to the poll to elect who becomes their governors for the next four years the Nigerian Police has assured them of security during the exercise.
The Police Deputy Inspector General in charge of election security, Leye Oyebade, speaking on the election eve said police had put a robust mechanism in place to make sure that the safety of all stakeholders in the Ondo election was guaranteed.
Meanwhile, the Ondo Police Commissioner (CP), Bolaji Salami, said that no less than 25 suspects were arrested in the last two weeks for illegal possession of firearms in the state.
The suspects, he said, were believed to be political thugs armed for the disruption of the electioneering process but were picked out by tactical squads following actionable intelligence.
The CP added that most of the suspects had already been charged to court.
Oyebade in his part said: “We have been able to put a robust mechanism on ground that is going to work; a mechanism that it is going to give us the desired result, which is safety.
“We have deployed to the riverine areas at least three per unit. We have deployed men to all the collation centres and given adequate protection to INEC officials, and materials in all the necessary areas that are meant to be covered.
“Our preparation has been ongoing before now behind the scene. We have been able to crime map the state and noted the threat analysis.
“We will not be distracted. We have enough personnel to address the issues of banditry, kidnapping and all of that. We have our technical platform to track and do the needful.
“We have adequate number to address the supervision of this election; personnel are sound technically. We are good to go.
“We have been able to structure the terrain, the waterways, land and air, all entry and exit points. We have been able to get adequate personnel lectured, trained and tutored to be professional.
“So, with the personnel we have on ground, appropriate logistics and with the mindset to sacrifice, because this is a major event to celebrate our democracy, the police officers’ morale is very high. We know that the police and other security agencies are ready to protect lives and property.
“We have been able to support in terms of protection of INEC officials and transportation of INEC materials that has begun for some days now and has been going on without any issue.
“We have also had confidence building patrols and have assured the people of their safety. We are on ground to protect them, so, they should come out and cast their votes.
“We have a code of conduct guiding the personnel that have been deployed. They have been given a tag with their names and pictures on it to identify them in the places they are posted to.
“Their names and mobile phone numbers are also with the officials at the various places they are posted. That is how we will curb fake or illegal policemen”.
The front runners of this Saturday’s poll remain incumbent Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Eyitayo Jegede of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the state incumbent Deputy Governor, Agboola Ajayi of the Zenith Labour Party.