By Rasheedah Makinde
Ahead of the Governorship and State Assembly Elections, security agencies in Oyo State have assured the citizens of a safe and secure atmosphere before, during and after the exercise.
This was contained in a communique released by heads of security agencies and paramilitary organizations at the end of its strategic security meeting held at Police Headquarters, Eleyele Ibadan, in preparation for the Saturday’s elections.
Briefing newsmen at the end of the meeting, the Commissioner of Police in Oyo State, Mr Adebowale Williams said all the security agencies have synergised to collectively ensure that the security architecture was restructured and re-modified to clamp down on any criminal acts in the state during elections.
Mr Adebowale said this would be the second meeting after the Presidential/National Assembly Elections where they reviewed their performances with a view to having a better and a near perfect outing on Saturday’s Governorship and House of Assembly Elections.
“On behalf of the Oyo State Heads of Security Agencies I want to applaud your support and cooperation so far. We equally appreciate your inspiring commendations and appraisals which for us means more commitment towards the protection of democratic values in the state.”
The police commissioner explained that all Heads of Security Agencies and Paramilitary Organizations in the state wished to inform residents that more pre-emptive measures towards the protection of lives and property have been emplaced towards the overall success of the Saturday’s elections.
“Residents shall witness a complete overhaul of the present security architecture to accommodate more inclusive measures effective this moment.”
He said part of the measures being put in place include joint visibility patrols, raids of black spots, coordinated intelligence surveillance as well as close monitoring of habitual criminals.
“Also, included in the new security schedule is the involvement of cyber-forensic experts to handle cyber-related offences especially circulation of fake and unverified news in other to heat up the polity as violators would be sanctioned in accordance with the provisions of sec 24(1)(b) of the Cybercrime, Prohibition, Prevention Act of 2015.”
“In a bid to secure a safe and conducive environment for electorates in the interest of Public Order and Safety, the extant ban on VIP escorts, accompanying their principals to polling units, Use of sirens and revolving lights by unauthorized persons. Tinted glasses and covered number plates, and Vehicular restrictions from 1201hrs (12:01AM Election Day) till 1800hrs (6:00pm) of same. i.e. Saturday 18/03/2023.”
He noted that vendors of food, alcohol and other consumables would not be allowed to operate around polling units and wards to deter vote buying.
“Going armed is a criminal offence and would be viewed seriously on Election day. i.e. Don’t be caught with as little as a knife in your pocket.”
Mr Adebowale also advised residents against placing objects such as bricks, wooden materials or stones on streets and major roads under the guise of recreation as it might debar immediate intervention during times of distress.
“In furtherance of the above, it is advised that post-election celebrations should be done in moderation, devoid of inciting utterances and provocative gestures that could lead to an eventual breach of peace.”
“Penultimately, parents, guardians and leaders wielding degrees of influence in the society are once again enjoined to prevail on their children, wards, protégés against being used as expendable objects of disruption in Saturday’s Gubernatorial & House of Assembly Elections as stiff sanctions await all violators in accordance with all relevant laws.”
“In cases of emergencies, the command can always be reached through these emergency control room numbers: 615(toll free) and the Oyo State Police Command emergency lines 07055495413 and 08081768614, Garrison Command Hotline – 07047703000.” Mr Williams added.
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