The reason why the proposed rally of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in Ado-Ekiti ahead of the gubernatorial election was stopped, has been revealed by the Deputy Inspector General of Police (Operations), Habila Joshak, who said it was to prevent possible breakdown of law and order.
Joshak, who is the overall commander of security operations for the Ekiti State governorship election, said that no party will be allowed to hold any political rally not approved by the police until the election is held, adding that the PDP did not obtain police permit for the botched rally.
The police chief described the action as a “pre-emptive measure” that was adopted because of the tense situation in the state.
Joshak said: “Because of the tense situation, we had to do what we did. We heard that His Excellency (Fayose) was doing something in the Government House, the cyclists narrowed the road but we won’t go and block his place.
“We don’t want people to gather and start another rally because dispersing them with smoke is not the best. The pre-emptive measure was okay. It is better to be pre-emptive by ensuring that the situation did not degenerate.”
“We are not here to usurp the authority of Governor Fayose. We are not here to rubbish him because he represents the people But we are not going to allow any authorized rally that can trigger violence in the state. You can see that the state is tensed up.
“As law enforcement agents, we must be proactive and take actions that can prevent crisis rather than trying to quell it after it might have broken out.”
Joshak said the security details of Very Important Personalities (VIPs) in Ekiti will be withdrawn on Saturday to give all parties participating in the election a level playing field, adding that no party will be allowed to hold any political rally not approved by the police until the election is held.
The DIG explained that he will work with one Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIG), H.H. Karma and three other Commissioners of Police; Ali Janga, J.B. Kokumo and G.B. Umar, who will man each of the senatorial districts in the state.
Joshak said they have contacted security details of Governor Fayose and the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Dr. Kayode Fayemi and other top government officials to report at 6am at the police headquarters in Ado Ekiti on Saturday.
He said: “We won’t allow anybody to go to the polling booth with armed men, this is a breach of the Electoral Act.
“We have contacted them and they have to be here before election commences. This election must not be compromised. They will be documented and whoever defies this will be sanctioned, because they have been contacted”, he warned.
Joshak urged his men not to work for any political party, saying any police officer found exhibiting such will have himself to blame.
“Those who want to create posts where votes are going to be bought will be disappointed. We are not going allow it.
“If you cast your votes, you can keep a distance and protect your votes, but if you snatch the ballot, we will cut off your hands, if you run with it, we will stop your legs.
“If you come out with masquerade on the day of election, we will get it arrested and unmask the man behind it.
“My men will be civil, so people are free to come out to vote. Nobody will be harassed, that is not part of our duties.
“Our duty is to secure not only the electoral materials but all the citizens. We are going to be professional and watchful, because we don’t want to be bedeviled with cases of hooliganism, ballot snatching and hate speeches before, during and after this election”, he said.