Both the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the Nigeria Police Force have expressed confidence of a peaceful poll in the Western Nigeria State of Osun.
While the police commended the government and citizens for living up to their statutory responsibilities particularly in the maintenance of peace, law and order, the INEC expressed its readiness to wage war against vote buying.
In doing this, it said food vendors would not be allowed to open during voting hours on election days in Osun state.
INEC also urged citizens and journalists to alert the security on any suspicious move to buy peoples’ votes.
The Deputy Inspector General of Police, (Training and Development) Yakubu Jubril during a courtesy visit to Gov. Gboyega Oyetola, described Osun as one of the peaceful states in Nigeria.
Jubril noted that the agency has no doubt in the ability of the state and her people to maintain peace before, during and after the poll.
He remarked that Osun has proven its worth as a state with unprecedented track-record in the security sector.
The Police boss said he had met with the ranks and files of police and other relevant stakeholders in Osun state to ensure a hitch-free electoral process.
“I am here purposely to monitor and assess the level of preparation for the election not only in Osun but in the six southwest states because my assignment is to ensure a free, fair, credible and acceptable electoral process in this region.
“So, being in Osun is just to fulfil the obligations because this is a state that is known for peace.
“I know Osun as one of the peaceful states with zero tolerance for crime,” Jubril said.
Responding, Gov. Oyetola commended the NPF leadership in the country for being professional in the discharge of their duty as security agents.
He reaffirmed his administration’s determination to ensure a free, fair and credible election in the state, saying Osun will reflect her status by being peaceful before, during and after the election.
“We are already known for peace and I am sure that this election will be free, fair, credible and acceptable,” Oyetola said.
Meanwhile, the Resident Electoral Commissioner of Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, in Osun state, Mr Olusegun Agbaje has explained that barring of food vendors from operating during voting hours is to curtail vote buying.
He urged newsmen to join in waging war against vote buying by alerting the security agents on any suspicious move to buy peoples’ votes.
“We discovered that vote buyer used the advantage of food vendors to share money during the last governorship election.
“We would not allow them to open during voting hours in the coming elections.
“The media should help us escalate and warn politicians not to distribute money to the electorates.
“If politicians keep to the rules of the games, INEC is ready to keep to the rules of the games,” he said.
Agbaje said the commission has tried to curtail vote buying in the state, noting that the person arrested in connection with the act during the last gubernatorial election, has been taken to the court.
From Adeyinka Aremu, Osogbo