By Kayode Abdulazeez
The Kwara State Governor, Abdulfatah Ahmed has assured the people of the state, especially residents of Irepodun, Oke Ero, Isin and Ekiti Federal Constituency of their safety and security during next Saturday’s House of Representatives by-election.
Governor Ahmed gave this assurance during a state security council meeting held at Government House, Ilorin, according to a statement issued by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Communications, Dr Muyideen Akorede.
Alhaji Ahmed said Kwara State has been traditionally known for peaceful elections which are held in a situation devoid of rancor, adding that the state government in partnership with security agencies is determined to ensure the forthcoming by-election will not be any different.
Governor Ahmed said he has received the assurances of all security agencies in the state that all necessary resources and men will be deployed in the federal constituency to ensure that voters exercise their choice in safety and security.
While urging all eligible voters to turn out in their numbers to choose the representative of their choice during Saturday’s elections, Governor Ahmed assured the security agencies of the state government’s readiness to provide logistic support for the elections.
Governor Ahmed urged the security agencies to remain vigilant and prevent voter intimidation and disenfranchisement in the forthcoming election and indeed the general elections of 2019.
He said the security agencies will be conducting high-visibility policing in the four local government areas in the coming days to build confidence in the populace. Alhaji Ahmed, therefore, urged residents not to be alarmed as the exercise is designed to ensure their safety and security before, during and after the elections. Individuals who however have no legitimate reason to be in the four local government areas or any other part of the state were advised by the state governor to stay away or risk apprehension by security agencies.
Governor Ahmed also admonished the security agencies to investigate the reported influx of unknown persons into the state from neighbouring states allegedly to disrupt the elections or intimidate voters.
According to him, the unknown persons are widely believed to have been lodged in hotels in Ilorin, Omu-Aran and Oro towns as a prelude to perpetrating their criminal actions during the elections.
Alhaji Ahmed also called on residents of the state to remain vigilant and report any suspicious movements and individuals to security agencies for investigation.
The meeting was attended by the state commissioner of Police, Representative of Brigade-Commander, Sobi, Director of State Security Services, and heads of Navy, Air Force and Civil Defence in the state, Secretary to the State Government, Alhaji Isiaka Gold, Attorney-General, Barr. Kamaldeen Ajibade(SAN), Chief of Staff Government House, Alhaji Yusuf Baba Abdulwahab and other members of the state security council.