Kwara State Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed has cautioned that the bye-election in Oke Ero/Irepodun/Ekiti/Isin federal constituency of the state, this Saturday should not be made a do or die affair.
Ahmed stated this as he expressed concern over the handling of security matter in the federal constituency with alleged sudden replacement of security personnel working in the area.
He spoke when youth supporters of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) from the constituency visited Government House, in Ilorin to express their fears about handling of security for the election.
The governor alleged that the All Progressives Congress (APC) led Federal Government had changed security officers and posted fresh ones in the affected local governments, describing the situation as disturbing.
He said: “I don’t see why people should make election a do or die affair if the aim is to serve the people.
“Election is a process that is expected to produce people that will deliver goods and services. It should not be a basis for getting things done on a do or die affair.
“Ordinarily I should be comfortable about the security situation, but 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 good and services to the good people of Nigeria. So I urge the security agencies to look at the matter 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.
“We don’t want what we saw in Ekiti and Osun states to happen in the state. In those states people were disenfranchised and intimidated. It is not good for democracy. We should allow peace to reign and allow democracy to stand on its feet and deepen our democracy to improve on our delivery of goods and services to the good people of the state.
“The redeployment of security agencies may sound strategic, to have a proper security in place but previous experience revealed that security agencies connived to intimidate and disenfranchise voters. That is exactly what has attracted the attention of the Kwara South Youth. That is what is raising our fears too. Ordinarily we should be excited about the restrategising of the police to ensure we have a peaceful environment. The way and manner security agents have been involved in electoral processes leave much to be desired.”