The National Peace Committee has said it has observed allegations of thuggery and heated debates among candidates contesting the Osun governorship election holding on Saturday.
The committee, therefore, called on candidates to adhere to the rules, adding that elections must be devoid of violence.
These were contained in a statement by the committee’s Chairman, Gen. Abdusalami Abubakar (retd. ), on Sunday.
The statement partly read, “We are aware that the contestants in the elections are running robust campaigns. These pre-election activities have at several times been characterised by vile comments, politics of blame, heated debates, and allegations of political thuggery.
“Elections should and must be devoid of utterances which stir up hate and instigate violent acts, monetisation of the process but rather follow the rudiments of democracy, which is the rule of law and acknowledging the rights of every citizen.
“As such, we have continued in our engagements with the candidates and political parties, to reiterate and call on them to ensure they conduct themselves with civility and patriotism, adhering to due process and not self-help. We urge that contestants approach the elections in a true spirit of sportsmanship.”
He also called on the Independent National Electoral Commission and security agencies to put in place measures to curb vote buying.
Abdusalami also urged youths of the state to avoid being used for thuggery and violence.
Meanwhile, the Inspector-General of Police, Usman Baba, has ordered the deployment of the Deputy Inspector-General of Police in charge of the Force Criminal Investigation Department and the supervisory DIG for the South-West Geo-Political Zone, DIG Johnson Kokumo, for the governorship election.
Also deployed to the state are four Assistant Inspectors-General of Police, four Commissioners of Police, 15 Deputy Commissioners of Police, and 30 Assistant Commissioners of Police.
The Force Public Relations Officer, Muyiwa Adejobi, in a statement on Sunday, said adequate police personnel of the rank of Chief Superintendents of Police and below have also been deployed for the election.
He also announced that the Osun State Commissioner of Police, Olawale Olokode, has been temporarily moved to the Force Headquarters until the conclusion of the election.
The statement added, “DIG Kokumo is responsible for overseeing the implementation of the Operation Order evolved from the Election Security Threat Assessment, to ensure a peaceful and conducive environment devoid of violence and to guarantee law-abiding citizens in the state of a secured space to freely perform their civic responsibilities without molestation or intimidation.
“Other senior officers deployed are tasked with coordinating human and other operational deployments in the three senatorial districts; 30 local government areas and the 3,753 polling units in Osun State.
“The IGP ordered deployment of the Commissioner of Police and Provost Marshall at the Force Headquarters, CP Julius Alawari, to Osun State for the election, while CP Olokode Olawale, the Osun State Commissioner of Police has been temporarily moved to the Force Headquarters until the conclusion of the election.”
Adejobi also said five Armoured Personnel Carriers for patrol as well as three helicopters and six Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, for aerial surveillance among other operational assets, had been deployed.