The Police headquarters in Abuja this afternoon said as part of efforts to ensure adequate security for the forthcoming gubernatorial elections scheduled to take place in Ondo State on Saturday 20th October, 2012, the Inspector-General of Police, IGP MD Abubakar has ordered restriction on movements in and around the State at specified periods on Thursday,Friday and Saturday.
A statement today said there will restriction of movement in and out of Akure only on Thursday 18th October, 2012 ,6pm – 6am of Friday 19th October, 2012 .
The next restriction takes effect from 6pm of Friday 19th to 8pm of Saturday 20th October, 2012,which will be a total restriction of movements in and out of the entire State, except for those on essential duties and or such degree of movement necessary for citizens to exercise their franchise on theelection day. Consequently,the statement advised travelers and citizens who intend to use roads in and out of Ondo State are advised to divert to alternative routes.
Today’s statement by CSP Frank E. Mba, Deputy Force Public Relations Officer said while expressing his regrets over the inconveniences that road users and the general public may suffer as a result of this restriction, the IGP appeals for the understanding and cooperation of the entire citizenry, as the restriction is essentially to ensure the effective security of citizens, election officials and materials. It is a strategy to curtail the influx and movement of undesirable and criminal elements in and out of the State before and during the election.
The IG has also given assurance that adequate security logistics and manpower have been strategically deployed to achieve a most conducive electioneering atmosphere. In this regard, Policemen for election duty have been properly trained, briefed and sensitized on their roles as stipulated in the Electoral Act. They are expected to be professional, non partisan, civil but firm in their approach and relation to the public; and to strictly observe Force Order 237 on the use of firearms to ensure that inalienable rights of the citizens are not trampled upon.
“The IGP uses this medium to advice politicians to play by the rules. Consequently, politicians, Political Office Holders and all Very Important Personalities who are not directly involved in the conduct of the election, are expected to peacefully cast their votes and return to their homes. On no account must they be involved in monitoring of election, as the Police will enforce to the letter, all laws relating to the elections and law breakers appropriately dealt with in accordance with the law of the land,”the statement said.
The police boss enjoined all the citizens of Ondo State to come out enmasse to exercise their civic right, as the Police assisted by other security agencies, have mapped out plans to ensure that persons who are out to cast their votes, do so without fear of molestation from any quarter. They are advised to shun violence and all forms of thuggery. “ IGP further advised parents to keep close watch on their children and wards in order not to allow them to be used by unscrupulous politicians for criminal purposes, as the full weight of the law will take its course on anyone apprehended. Finally, citizens are enjoined to remain vigilant and report all suspicious movements or dealings to appropriate Police authority”Mba said.