Operatives of the Police, Army, the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps and Ekiti State Security Network codenamed ‘Amotekun’ on Friday literally took over streets of Ado-Ekiti, the Ekiti state capital in a show of force ahead of Saturday’s governorship election in the state.
The gun-wielding operatives positioned themselves at some major junctions and locations in Ado metropolis while others patrolled the major streets in a convoy of vans including 10 Armoured Personnel Carriers.
The patrol caused major traffic logjams along the old Ado- Iyin road, Federal Poly -Ijan-Ekiti, Ado-Akure, Ado-Ilawe roads all in Ado-Ekiti, the state capital. and some streets in Ikere-Ekiti, the largest town in the State.
The intimidating presence of the security operatives caused palpable fear among the residents of the metropolis.
It was gathered the patrol was part of measures to alert the residents of the security agencies preparedness for the election and deter thugs of any attempts to cause chaos before, during and after the exercise.
A commercial driver said: “Soldiers, Policemen, NSCDC, Amotekun and their vehicles are everywhere in state. See how they have caused traffic congestion.
“I don’t think the exercise is necessary. It has instilled fear in the people. With the situation on ground I don’t think the people will come out and exercise their franchise”.
The Police Inspector General, Usman Akali Baba said that the show of force was aimed to alert the residents of the security agencies’ readiness for the governorship election.
He stated that the exercise was part of inter-agencies’ commitments to ensure that the election was peaceful, free, fair and credible.
Baba, in a statement through the police chief in charge of the governorship poll and Deputy Inspector General, Johnson Kokumo, also announced a restriction on the movement of vehicles from 12 am on Saturday to 6pm for the conduct of the election.
“In view of the forthcoming governorship election in Ekiti, the Inspector General of Police through Deputy Inspector General of Police, Force CID and DIG for Southwest, who is the election security Commander for the Ekiti State gubernatorial election, DIG Johnson Kokumo wishes to inform the people of Ekiti State that the Nigeria Police Force has mobilized all necessary assets in partnership with other security agencies to provide adequate security and ensure free, fair and credible election.
“The Inspector General of Police equally, ordered the restriction of vehicular movements within the State particularly along the entry and exit points to Ekiti State with effect from 12:00am of Saturday 18th June, 2022 to 6:00pm by 6:00pm of same date.
“To this end, operatives of the Nigeria Police Force and the military as well as other security agencies have been deployed across the State borders to enforce the restriction order to the later and ensure criminal minded individuals do not infiltrate into the State and cause mayhem during, before and after the election.
The Inspector General assured residents cof adequate security for all to come out en masse and vote for the candidates of their choice without fear of harassment and harassment.
“The IGP hereby, assures the public of the Force readiness to perform its statutory duty of protection of lives and properties of law abiding citizens of Ekiti State State throughout the period of the election and beyond while calling on everyone to support and cooperate with the operatives deployed and ensure prompt report of any suspicious person or group of persons to the nearest Police Station or call the following numbers:
Joint Situation Room: 09021198809 or 07059119144 and Control Room: 08062335577,” the statement reads.