By Victor Ogunje in Ado Ekiti
The Ekiti State Police Command has said it has increased security around the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Ado Ekiti branch where election materials retrieved following the postponement of the presidential and National Assembly elections Saturday are deposited.
The Police Commissioner, Mr. Asuquo Amba, who said there is no room for security lapses for the success of the forthcoming elections, added that the deployment of more security men was to safeguard the sensitive materials kept in the bank.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had Saturday retrieved electoral materials deployed for the conduct of the elections scheduled for February 16 across the 16 local government areas of the state.
INEC took the decision sequel to the postponement of the elections to February 23, citing logistical problems.
Speaking with journalists in Ado Ekiti Monday, Amba assured all the political parties that the materials are safe.
Amba, who spoke via the command’s Public Relations Officer, DSP Caleb Ikechukwu, said: “If you visit the CBN office in Ekiti now, you will see more security men around the place. We take cognizance of the fact that security lapses could mar these coming polls and we are guarding against that.
“As we speak, we have drafted more mobile policemen and our men from the Special Protection Unit (SPU), who are specially trained on how to protect election materials, are there.
“We are working round the clock to block all the loopholes criminals can use to truncate the process here if any. So there is no cause for worry.
“Our people, particularly all parties should be rest assured that we shall ensure that all the materials are delivered to the designated points, no room for diversion.”
The police commissioner commended the residents for their peaceful dispositions, disclosing that the command has not arrested anyone in connection with any form of violence since electioneering began in the state.
On the allegations raised by the state’s Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party(PDP), Mr Gboyega Oguntuase, that his members were attacked in Igbara Odo and Omuo Ekiti by suspected party thugs, Amba said: “We have not received any formal petition from the party concerning this.
“This command is apolitical and neutral, so if we have any evidence of attack by any party, we are going to investigate and whoever is found culpable shall be arrested and prosecuted accordingly.”
Amba added that the three other commissioners of police deployed in Ekiti by the Inspector General of Police (IG), Mr Mohammed Adamu, for the purpose of the election have been asked to temporarily return to Abuja due to the postponement of the election.
“They have been asked to return to Abuja temporarily and by Thursday, they will return to Ekiti. The essence of their presence in the state was to make sure we have strong security across the three senatorial districts, because each commissioner is to man each of the districts for better performances of our men,” he said.