The Kwara State Governor, Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed, on Tuesday flayed the deployment of divisional police officers in Kwara-South, saying the exercise could negatively affect the credibility of the November 17 election to fill the Irepodun/Ekiti/Oke-Ero/Isin seat, which became vacant following the death of a former member representing the constituency, Funke Adedoyin.
The governor spoke in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital, after receiving members of hairdressers and cosmetology group and Kwara-South youths who paid him a solidarity visit.
He said, “In the last couple of weeks, we are beginning to see movements that are not usual for us. I have met with security chiefs and we worked out a strategy that in no guise should we see any rancour during this election because we are aware that the opposition is preparing to perpetuate violence and to rig the election.
“We are concerned that traditionally, we have always been a peaceful environment, especially drawing from what has happened in Ekiti and Osun states.”
He stated that if leadership was to render service to the people, election should not be a “do-or-die affair.”
“Ordinarily, I should be comfortable about from the security situation, but from the information reaching me, the divisional police officers have been changed. New ones are being posted. For us, this is not good for the forthcoming election and it is not good for our current security needs. It portends that agencies are being positioned to disenfranchise and intimidate people in the forthcoming election.
“For me, I don’t think it is a good way forward. It gives the picture as if democracy is under siege in Nigeria. I think we must take our democracy dearly if we want to use it as a platform for the delivery of goods and services to the good people of Nigeria. So, I urge the security agencies to look at it critically and allow peace to reign.
“The peaceful environment we have created in the state through a sense of harmony and acceptance of people to come and stay with us. Most importantly, we have lived as a cosmopolitan state.
I think we should allow that to stay and allow people to exercise their civic right on Saturday and allow the votes of people to count.”