Fashola Presides At Security Council Meeting


The Lagos State Security Council presided over by the State Governor, Mr Babatunde Fashola (SAN) on Friday met to finetune plans and further strategise on how to ensure that the State witnesses a free, peaceful and credible election starting from Saturday.


Addressing State House Correspondents after the meeting which took place at the Lagos House, Ikeja, Commissioner for Police, Mr Suleiman Abba called on the good people of Lagos State to come out confidently and cast their votes for parties or candidates of their choice.


“Now you are all aware, for many months, we have been planning and working and sensitising our personnel, preparing our equipment, updating them.


“We have been making adequate arrangement to ensure that the integrity of the whole electoral process is protected so that we have transparent conduct of not only tomorrow’s election, but in all the three elections that are coming up,’’ he said.


He added that arrangements have been made by the police and other law enforcement agencies to deploy over 30,000 personnel to protect the electorate, the polling stations, the electoral officials, the materials as well as continue with patrols and have men on standby in case of any emergency.


He also said arrangements have already been made with all arms of security agencies –the Army, Navy and Airforce to support all the plans which have been highlighted through patrols, checkpoints and where appropriate, through gathering of intelligence.


The police commissioner also said there are several dos and don’ts which are highlighted in Section 129 of the Electoral Act, some of which stipulates that: “on that day, you are not expected to canvass for votes, you are not expected to stop anyone from casting his or her vote for any candidate of his or her choice, you are not even expected to force anyone to vote at all.


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“Similarly, you are not expected to come to the polling unit with any cloth or vehicle with political party colours or insignias of any nature at all. On that day, it is not expected of you to brandish weapons of any sort unlawfully around the polling unit.


“I must tell you, offences like that carry very serious punishments, infact, if you brandish weapon or you do any activity that could disrupt the elections, like snatching boxes or any materials at all, the punishment does not give you room for payment of fines at all.


“Similarly on that day, if you abduct someone so that you prevent him from casting his vote, the consequences are very serious, it is three years imprisonment and it could be plus fine”, the police commissioner explained.


He added that on that day, the important personalities or anyone at all are not expected to go into the polling units blaring siren and that in order to protect the integrity of the process, members of the public are not expected to move about between the hours of 8am to 4pm on Saturday.


Asked to clarify reports about a dusk to dawn curfew, Mr Abba said from this moment police efforts would be geared at mopping up anyone that may be carrying arms and anyone conveying materials related to this election, reiterating that any action to restrict movement is geared towards protecting the integrity of the electoral process.


He also sought the support of the public in giving information to the police to assist it in conducting a peaceful and acceptable election tomorrow, adding that people should also make use of the emergency toll free numbers of Lagos State- 767 and 112 which members of the public can call and be linked up to the Police control room which will come to their assistance.


Also present at the briefing were Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Security, Major Tunde Panox, Director, State Security Service in Lagos, Mr Achu Ben Olayi, Commanding Officer, NNS Beecroft Naval Base Apapa, Commoddore Jonathan Ango, Commander 9 Brigade Ikeja, Brigadier Sanusi Nasiru Muazu and Commander 435 BSG Ikeja, Group Captain Ayo Saad Abdulsalam.


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