Osun election: Candidates meet with police chief

The Police in Osun State held a peace meeting with political parties on Thursday in Osogbo, ahead of party primaries and the state’s governorship election scheduled for July.


Speaking at the meeting, DCP Kanayo Uzuegbu said there was the need to ensure that political parties abided by electoral rules.


He represented CP Olawale Olokode, head of the Police in Osun State at the meeting.


“The move is very important to put political parties and other stakeholders on their toes to abide by the rules and regulations guiding the conduct of peaceful, credible and violence-free elections.


“We are all aware that the governorship election in Osun State will take place in July and political parties have begun necessary and required preparations for the process.


“In accordance with the timetable released by INEC on the election, signed by its Secretary, Rose Oriaran-Anthony, build-ups to the election began on Feb. 15.


“The notice also indicated that Feb. 16 to March 12 is fixed for political parties to conduct their primaries and resolve disputes that may arise from them.


“April 17 is the official date for the commencement of campaigns by parties,’’ DCP Uzuegbu said.


He also told the meeting that the timetable was properly admissible to the Police and would be followed to the letter.


“It is very important to state that political activities, party primaries, consultation visits, campaigns and others are legal, so far as they are within the confines of the Electoral Act and the 1999 Constitution.


“I enjoin all political parties and groups to play the game by the rules and allow themselves and their activities to be guided by the provisions of the Electoral Act.


“I advise politicians and other members of the public who may be supporting political parties to always formally inform the Command before embarking on processions, assemblies, campaigns or rallies.


“This is to allow for the making of necessary security arrangements that will prevent any breakdown of law and order.


“I assure all political parties of a level playing ground before, during and after the election.


“I also want to assure the entire people of the state that the Police will leave no stone unturned in ensuring security of lives and properties before, during and after the election period,’’ he added.


DCP Uzuegbu also said that it was imperative to warn politicians and others to avoid taking laws into their hands and to always trust that the Police in Osun State are always gallant and will do the right thing if properly briefed.

“All processions, primaries, consultation visits and rallies must be peaceful and be in accordance with the Electoral Act and respect for the rights and safety of everybody.

“The idea of unnecessary blocking of roads during campaigns, rallies and processions without due process, attacking innocent citizens unjustly, and assaulting security men on duty will not be tolerated.

“Anyone, irrespective of his status, who breaches public peace, will be punished according to the law.

“I urge youths not to allow themselves to be used as political thugs or as destructive agents.

“I equally advise so-called political thugs to, in their interest, vacate the state immediately as the command will not condone any act of indiscipline or allow anybody to truncate the peaceful atmosphere in the state,’’ DCP Uzuegbu said.

Political parties at the meeting were the All Progressives Congress (APC), the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the Social Democratic Party (SDP) and Action Democratic Party (ADP).

The quartet signed a peace accord with the police at the meeting.

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