By Ozioruva Aliu
AS part of measures to ensure a hitch-free governorship election, the Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIG) Zone 5, Dibai Yakadi has directed that all community vigilante groups should be disbanded few days to the election to ensure arms do not get to wrong people.
Besides, he assured that there would be a peaceful, free and fair governorship election in Edo scheduled to take place on September 19.
Yakadi stated this during a meeting with stakeholders in Benin City where he said “Any person or group of persons found with arms in public places, will be dealt with in accordance with the law, any complaints should be to the police because we have agreed to provide a level playing ground for all. All security officers will be professional and politicians should imbibe the spirit of sportsmanship.
“I am appealing to you all the community leaders to work with the DPOs in their areas and disarm all members of vigilante groups in their areas a few days before election, everybody should comply, we have done it before in other areas so Edo state will not be an exemption.
“Election is a serious business and that is why the police are meeting with stakeholders like you to discuss and ensure that we have a violence-free election. Elections should not be do or die. INEC should discharge its responsibility without fear or favour” he said.
While warning that stiff penalties await offenders during the Edo poll, the AIG appealed to the stakeholders to warn their supporters, wards or groups against any act of violence before, during and after the poll.
Yakadi listed unemployment, poverty, lack of sportsmanship by political actors, desperation by politicians, proliferation of small arms and access to illicit drugs as being responsible for election violence.
He particularly noted that the media, INEC, religion leaders, political parties and security agencies, are critical stakeholders who must all play their roles according to the book for a free, fair and credible poll to take place.