Ahead of Saturday’s gubernatorial election in Edo State, acting Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris has deployed a Deputy Inspector General of Police, an Assistant Inspector General of Police and three Commissioners of Police to coordinate security operations, supervise the deployment of security personnel and facilitate the electoral process throughout the state.
The IGP also ordered deployment of additional 25,000 police personnel comprising the Police Mobile Force, the Counter Terrorism Units, Anti Bomb Squad, Marine Police, conventional policemen, Armament Units, personnel from Force Criminal Intelligence and Investigation Department, Force Intelligence Bureau, and Sniffer Dog Section.
According to a statement issued yesterday by the Force Public Relations Officer, DCP Don Awunah, IGP Idris assured that the heavy deployment was to ensure that election in Edo is conducted in accordance with the electoral law and in an atmosphere of peace and security, as well as ensure safety of lives and property before, during and after the polls.
The force spokesman said the police aerial surveillance helicopters and gun boats, 10 additional Armoured Personnel Carriers and 550 patrol vehicles would be deployed to cover all the polling units, rack centres, collating centres, riverine areas and difficult terrains.
“As part of additional measures at guaranteeing a credible election which outcome will be generally acceptable, the IGP will convene a peace accord meeting of all the political parties, candidates, INEC officials, election observers and other stakeholders before the date of the election in Benin City, Edo State. This meeting will focus on the overall desirability of peace during the election and adherence to the rules of the game.
“All police personnel and other complementing sister security agencies are under strict instructions to be professionally polite and civil but firm in the discharge of their statutory duties. They are to provide adequate security for the electorates, INEC officials, electoral materials, election observers and all stakeholders throughout the period of the election.
“For the avoidance of doubt, political parties and their leaders, traditional rulers, community leaders, parents and guardians are advised to warn and prevail on their members, supporters, subjects, children and wards to be law abiding and not allow themselves to be used as canon folders to cause disturbance of the peace or disruption of the electoral process. The spirit and letters of the law will be fully applied on any person or group of persons found violating the Electoral Act.
“The IGP therefore wishes to assure the Edo electorates and all law abiding citizens of adequate security throughout the elections. He enjoins them to cooperate with Police in the discharge of their duties as the security personnel will operate within the framework of democratic policing,” the FPRO announced.
PDP asks court to disqualify APC candidate
Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Edo State yesterday asked a Federal High Court sitting in Benin City to disqualify the candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Mr Godwin Obaseki, from contesting the September 10, 2016, governorship election for allegedly making false claims and providing false information on oath to INEC.
Chief Dan Orbih, the state PDP chairman, gave this indication yesterday at a press conference in Benin City where he called on voters in the state not to waste their votes for the APC because the party had no candidate for the election.
Joined in the suit No. FHC/B/CO/120/16 dated September 1, 2016, filed by Chief Joseph Aghimien (SAN) on its behalf and Professor Edoba Omoregie, its legal adviser, are Mr Godwin Obaseki and the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.
He said the party was asking the court for a declaration that Obaseki’s statement that he graduated from the University of Ibadan with a B.A in Classical Studies in 1976 made under oath in INEC form CF001 at Part B, paragraph C, dated 11 July, 2016, was false.
Orbih added that apart from misleading the INEC with false information, the fact that Obaseki failed to declare if he is a member of a secret society disqualified him from contesting for the office of governor of Edo State.
In all, the PDP chairman said Obaseki had failed to fulfil the requirements of the constitution which in Section 182 (I) h specified the qualifications a person must have to contest for the governorship of a state, hence its call that the court should disqualify him from contesting the weekend’s election.
Fayose urges support for Ize-Iyamu
Ekiti State governor, Mr Ayodele Fayose has urged the people of Edo State to give their votes to the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, governorship candidate, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, on Saturday, saying “Edo people should not make the same mistake Nigerians made last year by enthroning the All Progressives Congress, APC, government of President Mohammadu Buhari.”
Governor Fayose, who also called on the people of Edo State to be extra vigilant before, during and after the election, said, “The people should not just vote and go to sleep; they must make sure that their votes count and victory is ensured for Pastor Ize-Iyamu who is
unarguably the best among the contenders.”
According to a statement issued yesterday by his special assistant on Public Communications and New Media, Lere Olayinka, Governor Fayose said “party sentiment apart, Pastor Ize-Iyamu has campaigned through the nooks and crannies of Edo State to sell his visions and missions to the people of the State and anyone who saw the Channels Television debate on Sunday will agree with me that Pastor Ize-Iyamu is better equipped for the governance of Edo State.”
The governor declared that “if you believe in me and you are a voter in Edo State, give your vote to Pastor Ize-Iyamu, the man who has demonstrated the required capacity to lead Edo State to prosperity.
“Opportunity to choose comes once in four years and the people of Edo State must grab this opportunity to change the fortune of the State for the better.
“Edo people should also be assured that Nigerians are now looking for a more meaningful change that is better than the APC’s one chance change and Pastor Ize-Iyamu represents that meaningful change in Edo State.”
While calling on the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, and the security agencies to maintain neutrality before, during and after the election, the governor described the Edo State election as a litmus test for the APC-led federal government, urging all government agencies involved in the election to put the interest of democracy first.
He said INEC must not repeat its story of inconclusiveness on the Edo election, adding that for the first time in the history of the APC-led federal government, election must be free, fair and conclusive.
Fayose added that Edo people should be vigilant on the election day and make sure that votes were counted and recorded in relevant forms at the polling units, and that “the people should know that elections are not concluded until results are announced officially.”