— As UK sends observers
Comrade Adams Oshiomole, National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has called for tight security, including military presence in Ekiti ahead Saturday, July 14 governorship election in the state.
Comarade stated this on Monday shortly after a closed meeting with Paul Arkwright, the British High Commissioner, at his campaign office in Abuja,.
Fielding questions from journalists on the 30,000 police deployment to Ekiti, the former Edo State governor declared that effective presence and performance of both the army and police is required to ensure safety of electorates and safeguard the process.
Citing his experience as governor of Edo state, Oshiomole pointed out that it is not a matter of the number of personnel deployed 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 because the rigging machine is serviced by criminals who are hardened and who are often hired. 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 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 so number of people deployed. In the end you will find no policemen. 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 used occasion of the courtesy visit to appreciate the British government for their support in promoting democracy in the country .Oshiomhole assured the British High Commissioner that as chairman of the ruling party, he would do all in his powers 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 said his country is interested in Nigeria’s democracy and that the UK government intends to send observers to Ekiti to ensure the election 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 amd basically to ensure that the people of Ekiti state are allowed to freely express their opinion, to vote along with their conscience and to be able to do so in peaceful manner” Arkwright said.
For a better society