The Nigerian Police says all security details attached to prominent personalities including the governorship aspirants in Ekiti State will be withdrawn on Saturday.
This is to enhance the credibility of the July 14 governorship election.
The Deputy Inspector General of Police (Operations), Mr Habilal Joshak, at a press conference on Wednesday in Ado-Ekiti, the state capital, says all political rallies must also get approvals by the police.
Joshak will work with an Assistant Inspector General of Police, Mr. H.H. Karma and three Commissioners of Police who shall man each of the Senatorial Districts in Ekiti State.
The Commissioners are Ali Janga, J.B. Kokumo and G.B. Umar.
The DIG said the police had contacted the security details of both Governor Ayodele Fayose and the candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Dr Kayode Fayemi and those attached to other top government officials to report at 6.00am at the police headquarters in Ado Ekiti on Saturday.
“We won’t allow anybody to go to the polling booth with armed men – this is a breach of the Electoral Act.
“We have contacted them and they have to be here before election commences. This election must not be compromised. They will be documented and whoever defies this will be sanctioned, because they have been contacted,” he warned.
Joshak said any police officer found exhibiting partisanship would have himself to blame.
“Those who want to create posts where votes are going to be bought will be disappointed. We are not going to allow it.
“If you cast your votes, you can keep a distance and protect your votes, but if you snatch the ballot, we will detach your hands, if you run with it, we will stop your legs.
“If you come out with masquerade on the day of election, we will get it arrested and unmask the man behind it.
“My men will be civil, so people are free to come out to vote. Nobody will be harassed, that is not part of our duties. Our duty is to secure not only the electoral materials but all the citizens. We are going to be professional and watchful, because we don’t want to be bedeviled with cases of hooliganism, ballot snatching and hate speeches before, during and after this election”, he said.
Blockade of Government House
Joshak denied the alleged blockade of the Government House, saying: “We are not here to usurp the authority of Governor Fayose. We are not here to rubbish him because he represents the people
“But we are not going to allow any unauthorised rally that can trigger violence in the state. You can see that the state is tensed up already.
“As law enforcement agents, we must be proactive and take actions that can prevent crisis rather than struggle to quell it after it might have broken out”, he said.
He explained that the Government House was blocked, but policemen merely blocked the road from Fajuyi to the State Secretariat to forestall any break down of law and order.