Effective presence and performance of both army and police is needed at the forthcoming Ekiti state governorship election in Southwest Nigeria, scheduled for July 14.
The APC National Chairman, Mr. Adams Oshiomhole stated this, in reaction to reports in the media, that the Nigerian Police deployed thirty thousand police officers for the election.
Mr. Oshiomhole was speaking to journalists in his campaign office in Abuja after a meeting with the British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Mr. Paul Arkwright.
He added that it isn’t the number that matters but the effectiveness of the force in ensuring safety of voters and ballot boxes.
Whether they should use the military or not use the military, I don’t think you want to argue that, over the years since 2003, 1999, the armed forces have always been deployed. Don’t forget when I was in Edo state, I told people that I want the armed forces to be involved in the election. Now if you have criminals wielding AK 47 on an election day, and the police is overwhelmed, you want to say the army should not be deployed?
We shouldn’t worry about who we deploy, I think we should all pray that however people are deployed that in the end we are not counting dead bodies.
My experience in Edo is that you will hear stories like this; so (and) so people deployed, in the end, you will find no police men, I have seen that in Edo. The important thing is that regardless of what the police chooses to do; regardless of the number they choose to deploy , let us ensure that those who are going to vote are safe and that the votes cast are secure.
Whatever number they need to secure the lives of those who are going to vote to create that sense of security for people to move freely to vote for candidates of their choice, I don’t think we should dictate to IG how many people he wants to deploy, he said.
The APC National Chairman also appreciated the British government for their support in promoting democracy in Nigeria.
Mr. Oshiomhole assured the British High Commissioner that he would do everything to ensure a free and fair process in the Ekiti governorship election.
For the process is more important than the outcome because we are looking at the Nigeria project in terms of sustaining democracy not the survival of a particular political aspirant whether it is on my party platform or in the platform of the opposition he said.
On his part, Mr. Arkwright who said his country is interested in Nigeria’s democracy, added that they intend to send observers for the election, to ensure it is free and fair.
The British High Commission will be sending a team there to observe the election and to ensure that they go smoothly; to ensure that INEC can do its job; that the security forces do their job and basically to ensure that the people of Ekiti state are allowed to freely express their opinion; to vote alone with their conscience and to be able to do so in peaceful manner, Arkwright said.
Source: Voice of Nigeria