Ahead of tomorrow’s governorship election in Edo State, Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mohammed Adamu, has ordered the restriction of vehicular movement from 11:59pm today to 6pm tomorrow.
The IGP said the restriction was to prevent the circulation and use of illicit arms and hard drugs. He also said the restriction was to checkmate the movement of political thugs and touts and other criminally-minded individuals, especially from contiguous states from hijacking and disrupting the electoral processes.
Adamu, in a statement by Force Public Relations Officer, Frank Mba, said: “In line with concerted efforts at ensuring public order and safety, during the Edo governorship election tomorrow, the IGP has ordered the restriction of vehicular movement from 11:59pm to 6pm tomorrow.
“The IGP notes that the restriction order is informed by the need to prevent the free flow, circulation and use of illicit arms and hard drugs and checkmate the movement of political thugs and touts and other criminally-minded individuals, especially from contiguous states from hijacking and disrupting the electoral processes.
“He enjoins citizens to go out en-masse on the day of the election and vote, noting that the police and other security agencies have been sufficiently mobilised to provide a safe, secure and conducive environment for the election.
“While regretting any inconveniences the restriction order may cause the citizens, the IGP enjoins the citizens to see the restriction as part of necessary sacrifices towards the enthronement of democracy. He, however, warns that the Force will not sit idly-by and watch citizens who may want to engage in any criminal act – violent and destructive acts, snatching of ballot boxes, vote buying, vote selling, hate speeches, and other act(s) capable of compromising the electoral processes.”
Meanwhile, combined security operatives, yesterday, in Benin embarked on another ‘Operation Show of Force’ to signify their preparedness to provide adequate security for tomorrow election.
Operatives from the various security agencies in no fewer than 70 patrol vehicles participated in the exercise.
The operatives had embarked on similarly exercises on Saturday and Sunday in the ancient city.
Convoy of the troops moved from the Police Command Headquarters in Benin on Sapele road, Country Home road through Ugbo road.
Other routes covered were the GRA, Adesuwa road, Ihama road and the entire stretch of the Airport road.
Others were Akenzua road, Ehaekpen St., TV road, Five junction, Uselu-Lagos road, Upper Mission road and the Ring road.
Chidi Nwabuzor, spokesman for the police command in Edo, told newsmen that the exercise was to restate their commitment to provide adequate security for the election.
He urged voters to come out en masse tomorrow and vote for the candidate of their choice, assuring them of the protection of their lives and property before, during and after the exercise.
Security agencies that participated in the exercise include police, army, Air Force, Nigerian Customs Service and the Department of State Services.
Others were the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps, Federal Road Safety Corps, Nigerian Correctional Service, Nigerian Immigration Service and the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency.
Meanwhile, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), yesterday, began the distributions of sensitive materials to the 18 local government areas of the state ahead of the governorship election.
Addressing journalists at the premises of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Benin, Timidi Wariowei, INEC Head of Voter Education and Publicity in Edo, said the distribution commenced with the farthest local government areas.
“So far, we have loaded about 11 local government. We started from Akoko-Edo, Etsako Central, Owan East and Owan West among others.
“Some have gone and others are completely loaded and are sorting out their security escort and very soon, materials will move to the local governments.
“From the local government, the materials will move to registration areas centres (RACs) and from the RACs, they will move to the polling units and voting points tomorrow morning.
“As you can see, we are fully ready for the election. This is the high point of our preparation, that is moving the materials from the CBN to local government areas,” he said.