Osun election: Soldiers man highways as 33,726 security operatives cover strategic locations

  • Frisk commuters, vehicle owners
  • Police, NSCDC, FRSC deploy 33, 726 personnel statewide
  • Helicopters on aerial surveillance of Osogbo

Ahead of tomorrow’s governorship election in Osun State, Army personnel have mounted check points on major entry points across the state.

Soldiers were seen in strategic areas like Gbongon, Shekona, Ede, Abere and Osogbo, the state capital, frisking commuters and commercial buses, yesterday.

As reported by Vanguard, the army checkpoints were mounted to ensure law and order in flashpoint areas before, during and after the exercise.

The checkpoints, however, led to a traffic gridlock around these areas as commuters and road users had difficulty getting to their various destinations.

Similarly, police helicopters were deployed to provide aerial surveillance of Osogbo and its environs.

Also, the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, NSCDC, has deployed 11,226 personnel to man the 3,763 polling units in the state.

A statement by NSCDC’s Director of Public Relations, DCC Olusola Odumosu, stated that the deployment covers flash points, collation centres, and critical national assets across the state.

Deployed personnel were from the national headquarters and nine state commands- Osun, Ondo, Ekiti, Oyo, Ogun, Lagos, Kwara, Kogi and Edo.

He added that undercover agents from national headquarters have joined their counterparts on the state for covert operations.

The statement reads: “Preparatory to Saturday’s Gubernatorial election in Osun State, the Commandant General of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, NSCDC, Dr Ahmed Audi, has approved the deployment of 11,226 officers and men to cover the 3,763 polling units, collation centres, flash points as well as Critical National Assets and Infrastructure in all the 31 Local Government Areas of the State.

“They have also been acquainted with the provisions of the Electoral Act as regards to Rules of Engagement, hence, must comply with the Corps’ Operational Code, Standard Operating Procedure and above all, display of professionalism and high sense of discipline throughout the election.

“This robust operational order has been activated to ensure a hitch-free exercise and guide against molestation and intimidation of the electorates by hoodlums or party thugs.

Also, TheCable reports that at least 33, 726 policemen and other security personnel have been stationed in strategic places ahead of Saturday’s Osun State governorship election, which is barely 24 hours away.

Alkali Baba Usman, inspector-general of police (IGP), said 21,000 officers had been deployed for the election.

The IGP, who spoke in Osogbo at the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) stakeholders’ meeting, said the deployment was not to intimidate residents but to prevent miscreants from hijacking or disrupting the election process.

Johnson Kokumo, deputy inspector-general of police in charge of the election, also announced restrictions of both vehicular and human movements during the election.

Kokumo announced the measure at the end of a police interactive session with ‘accredited election observer groups, NGOs and the media, ahead of the election.

He said essential workers, accredited election observers and the media would be allowed to operate.

The Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) has deployed 11,226 personnel to provide security for the election as well.

The Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) has also deployed 1,500 personnel, 35 vehicles, two trucks and ambulances to clear road obstructions, carry out rescue operations in case of emergencies, and maintain orderliness in polling booths.

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