Police Bar Politicians From Polling Booths

By Timothy Agbor, Osogbo

Ahead of Saturday’s governorship election in Osun state, the Nigeria Police Force on Friday, 8th August, 2014 said politicians will not be allowed in polling booths during the voting exercise.

The Supervising Commissioner of Police in the state for the purpose of the poll, Augustine Evabakhabokun made this known at a press conference at the State’s Police headquarters on Friday evening.

“Politicians are advised to play by the rules. Political office holders and all important personalities who are not directly involved in the conduct of the election should peacefully cast their votes and return to their homes.

“On no account must they be involved in the monitoring of elections as the police will ensure we enforce to the latter all laws relating to the Electoral Act. Law breakers will be appropriately dealt with in accordance with the electoral law,” he stressed.

Evabakhabokun also noted that all Police escorts attached to politicians and highly placed individuals in the State have been withdrawn ahead of tomorrow’s poll.

He insisted that no politician or individual should carry fire arms to voting units.

“You are not supposed to come with any arms, you are not supposed to come with any orderly. So, you vote and go away,” he said.

While advising electorate not to be scared by the heavy security presence in the state, the Police Commissioner said they should peacefully go to the polling units to cast their votes.

“The Nigerian police are fully mobilized. We have mobilized our men to the three senatorial districts in the state and each of these senatorial districts is manned by a Commissioner of Police,” the police boss said.

He said all the specialized units of the police were on ground to maintain security of life and properties.

“We have the counter-terrorism unit, we have the bomb disposal unit, we have the dog handlers,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Police Commissioner said the Force will deploy “maximum force” while carrying out its activities on Saturday.

He maintained that all electoral miscreants will be resisted with “maximum force” tomorrow.

“We are here, we are not going to beg issues, we are going to force issues. Our mandate is very clear. It says that the police must provide security and that is what we are doing. We want to provide security for Osun People”, he noted.

He appealed to Osun residents to act according to the law in order to have a hitch free poll.

“We don’t want violence. The act of thuggry or whatever will not be entertained. The thugs will be arrested.

“On the election day, if you have your personal voter’s card, go and vote. If you don’t have, don’t go there. Once you vote, go away,” he warned

He warned that after voting, electorates who do not want to leave, should move 300 meters away from the voting area as the Electoral Act does not allow loitering around a polling station.

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