Inspector-General of Police, Baba Usman has stated that police deployment in Ekiti State gubernatorial election is not to scare citizens but to ensure the protection of the sanctity of ballots.
Newsonline reports that the IGP of police made the clarification on Tuesday in Ado-Ekiti while fielding questions from journalists on the coming gubernatorial election in Ekiti State.
This is also as the Chairman Independent National Electoral Commission, Prof Mahmood Yakubu, has called on the gubernatorial candidates to cooperate with the commission staff to ensure a credible election.
Newsonline reports that the Ekiti State gubernatorial election will hold in four days, Saturday, 18 June.
Usman Alkali Baba said the deployment of massive security men was to ensure that no person or group of persons become a cog in the wheel of a credible election.
Professor Mahmood Yakubu assured citizens of Ekiti State that the commission is committed to ensuring a free and fair election.
Baba Usman said, “all the 177 wards and 2,445 polling units will be manned by appropriate manpower. Let me say this, the massive deployment is not to scare the citizens, but to protect the sanctity of the ballots and the provisions of the Electoral Act.
“Those who want to constitute a clog in the will of progress will face the consequences of their actions. National security should be of priority and uppermost in our minds. Let us conduct this election in the most civil manner.
“All the parties must embrace the virtues of democracy. We will not allow any person or group of persons to disrupt this election no matter how highly placed. Let all the contenders provide the moral leadership so that we can achieve success together.”
Prof Mahmood Yakubu, stated, “let me assure political parties and voters that the task of electing a new governor will be left in the hands of Ekiti voters. We won’t take any action that would put any party and candidate in a vantage position. We are going to do everything according to the constitution and provisions of the Electoral Act.”
Mahmood further disclosed, ” to underscore how prepared we are, we have provided magnifying glasses and braille ballot papers for visually impaired citizens while the Bimodal Voters Authentication System Machines(BVAS) will be used for accreditation.
“We are not unaware that vote-buying is a destroyer of the electoral process. To show how determined we are to stop this menace, we have changed the configuration of the ballot boxes in all polling units to prevent vote-buying.
“We are also partnering the operatives of ICPC and EFCC to deploy their men and deal with vote buyers and sellers according to the law.”
The INEC Chairman stated that four National Commissioners and eight Resident Electoral Commissioners are on the ground to ensure the conduct of a credible election.
Newsonline reports that a total of 749, 065 voters representing 76 percent that have collected their Permanent Voter Cards, PVCs, are expected to cast their votes in the gubernatorial election come Saturday.