The Inspector-General of Police, Usman Baba, has issued a strong warning to anyone who plans to disrupt the Osun State governorship election scheduled for July 16.
According to him, the Police will not hesitate to arrest and prosecute anyone found wanting throughout the period of the exercise to be conducted by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Baba gave the warning on Tuesday at the stakeholders’ meeting organised by the electoral umpire in Osogbo, the state capital.
He also said 21,000 security personnel have been deployed for the governorship election.
This deployment, according to the IGP, is not meant to intimidate law-abiding citizens, but tame undemocratic moves.
He assured eligible voters to go out and exercise their franchise without fear, saying the 332 wards of the 30 local government areas of the state would be well-secured.
Also speaking at the event, the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, appealed to the candidates to desist from inducing voters and avoid being led by their desperation.
The traditional ruler is confident that the election will be peaceful and worth the efforts by relevant agencies towards its success.
INEC’s Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in Osun, Professor Abdulganiy Raji, also gave an update on the preparation of the electoral umpire for the election.
He said polling units have been relocated from controversial areas such as the front of houses of politicians, front of palaces, and religious centres, either to open spaces or public buildings.
“This action is to ensure adequate security and peaceful elections. Flashpoints have been identified and strategies (have been) mapped out to resolve issues that can truncate the election process”, he said.
The REC also hinted at the conversion of voting points to polling units in a bid to ensure the expansion of voter access to polling units.
He confirmed that all non-sensitive materials to be used in Saturday’s election have been batched to the polling unit level and ready to be conveyed to the various Registration Area Centres (RACs).
Noting that the sensitive materials were expected sometime on Tuesday, Professor Raji stated that the commission has concluded the production of maps of all polling units (both electronically and hardcopy) in the state for ease of movement and location of polling units by electoral officials.
He stressed that poll officials have been prepared for the exercise and ready for deployment, adding that the security personnel in the state have been trained.