By Dayo Johnson & Gbenga Ariyibi
Ado-Ekitiâ€”Â Ahead of tomorrowâ€™s senatorialÂ election re-run, the policeÂ authorities have warned politicians and their supporters in the state not to do anything that would amount to aÂ breach of public peace or obstruct the election, saying any politician found wantingÂ would be treated like a common criminal, even as the authorities have assured thatÂ every logistic needed to ensure a hitch- free election hasÂ been put in place.
Speaking with the newsmen in Ado Ekiti, yesterday, the Assistant Inspector General of Police, AIG, in charge of Border patrol, Hafiz Ringim, cautioned politicians not to do anything that would heat up polity in the state, sayingÂ police would not tolerate any act of political thuggery, hooliganism and violence that are usually associated with the past elections in the state
The AIG, who was assisted by the Acting Commissioner of Police in Ekiti State, Mr Fabian Ojiri, said police had been fully mobilized for the exercise, and that they had been put on red alert to combat any possible break down of law and order.
While expressing theÂ readinessÂ of his men to provide the maximum security needed for the exercise, the police boss, however, warnedÂ politicians as well as parents and guardians to caution their children and wards against engaging in any act of lawlessness capable of breaching the peace of the state.
HeÂ further assured that there would be no discrimination or preferential treatment against anybody, saying that whoever breaks the peace of the people would be treated accordingly
TheÂ Â police boss however did not disclose the number of policemen already drafted to man the state for the election, but said more men were coming from within and outside the state.
He further disclosed that there wouldÂ Â be a restriction on both human and vehicular movements on the day of the election,Â especially in the areas where the election would hold.
The AIG therefore charged the press to ensure accuracy and objective reporting during the election, urging them to avoid any report that could jeopardize the peace of the state.
â€˜â€™There was the need for the press to ensure that what they publish would not heat up the polity,Â the media should alwaysÂ adhere strictly to the ethic of their profession in the interest of the peace.
â€œWe need the cooperation of the politicians, the press and members of the public so that the election is conducted peacefully for the good of the people of Nigeria , and Ekiti in general,â€ he said.
On whether police would be attached to some political bigwigs to move around with securities, Ringim said that could only be possible, if there was any need for that.
â€œFor this exercise, if need be, a contestant could be given a policeman for security, rather than allowing him to move about with thugs, but as soon as the exercise is concluded, the securityÂ would be withdrawn,â€ he said.
INEC threatens staff
Barely 24 hours to the re run election in Ekiti North senatorial district, in Ekiti State the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) yesterday threatened to sack any of its staff caught engaging in electoral malpractices during the exercise
The Ondo State Resident Electoral Commissioner of INEC, Chief Ayo Dada read the riot act to 150 INEC staff in the state that would participate in the conduct of the Ekiti re-run election.
Dada told newsmen in Akure that other INEC staff from Ogun and Kogi states will be deployed for the election.
According to him, â€œthe deployment of INEC staff from other states for the conduct of the election was at the instance of the national headquarters of the commission.â€
He therefore warned the INEC officials â€œagainst engaging in activities that could dent the image of the commission.”