Lagos By-Election: 8000 security personnel for poll – Fatai Owoseni
Owoseni also urged hoodlums to steer clear, warning that anyone caught would be dealt with decisively.
Mr Fatai Owoseni, the Commissioner of Police, Lagos State Police Command on Thursday said that no fewer of 8000 security personnel would be deployed for Saturday’s Ifako/Ijaiye Federal House of Representatives by-election.
Owoseni gave assurance of adequate security for voters at a Stakeholders’ Forum organised by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) at Ifako/Ijaiye.
According to him, the personnel will include police, military personnel and officers of Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps.
He said that three policemen would man each of the 335 Polling Units and 687 voting points.
“We want to ensure we secure the process as much as possible. You may know the beginning of violence, but no one knows the end of it. Please, don’t engage in violence.
“We have met and we are still meeting as security agents. We want to assure that we will do all what is necessary to give all parties a level playing ground with regards to security.
“Our main concern is to secure the process; help us to tell your supporters that it is voting they are asked to come and do, not violence and killing.
“We are all related, we should think of this before engaging in violence. Elected offices are not gotten by violence; let us allow all to exercise their suffrage.
“We advise you to do politics without violence and rancor; we should suppress whatever violence tendency,” he said.
Owoseni urged hoodlums to steer clear, warning that anyone caught would be dealt with decisively.
The Police boss said that the command and other relevant security agencies would meet with the six candidates participating in the poll alongside with two representatives at the Command Headquarters.
He said that the Police would discuss with the contestants and make them sign a Memorandum of Understanding on peaceful conduct of supporters.
Owoseni, who noted that there would be some restrictions on movement in the affected constituency, said that details would be published on Friday.
He commended all the gladiators for being peaceful in their conduct since campaign started, saying that he had not heard any report of violence in the build up to the election.
Meanwhile, the Supervisory Commissioner for the poll,, Alhaji Abdullahi Kaugama, said that the commission was ready, urging all stakeholders to cooperate with the commission.
Kaugama, who is the INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner in Kaduna State, reiterated that accreditation and voting would commence simultaneously by 8:00a.m. on Saturday.
He said that the Card Readers had been configured, tested and customised for each Registration Area to checkmate manipulation.
The INEC official said that the commission’s personnel would resume by 7:30 a.m, while voting would commence by 8:a.m. and run till 2p.m. urging the gladiators to tell their supporters to arrive polling units early.
According to him, any voter who does not get to the queue by 2 p.m. will not be allowed to vote, but voting will not be concluded until the last person on queue casts his vote.
He said that absence of party agents at any point would not stop the progress of the electoral process.
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The six political parties to contest in the poll are Action Alliance (AA), Alliance for Democracy (AD), African Democratic Party (ADC), All Progressives Congress (APC), Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Social Democratic Party (SDP).
Mr Elijah Adewale, who represented the constituency in the House of Representatives, died in Abuja on July 20 and INEC has fixed Dec. 3 for the by-election into the vacant seat.
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