Ighomuaye Lucky, Benin
The Oba of Benin, Ewuare II, has said there has never been an election that has generated tension as next Saturday’s governorship election in the history of Edo State.
The Oba who stated this when the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, paid him a courtesy call in his palace, urged the security agencies in the State to leave up to their billings.
The police IG, who announced that he has deployed 31,000 security personnel to monitor the September 19 governorship election, said the Oba’s earlier peace pact with the political actors in the state yielded results.
He explained that the security personnel will be sent to the various polling units to monitor the election and ensure peace reigns even after the election.
‘There is no cause for alarm at all in the aspect of the security. As I told you, during the campaign, we have some issues, violence here and there and the Oba intervened and the violence went down and because we don’t want such things to be repeated, we have increased the number of security personnel that are coming for this election. We have about 31,000 police officers that will be deployed.
‘They will be deployed to the polling units, they will be deployed to the collation centres, they will be deployed to INEC facilities and to some critical infrastructure to make sure that nobody disturbs the election,’ Adamu said.
He said he was in the palace to appeal to him to help talk to the political gladiators in the State to sheath their swords noting that his earlier peace pact meeting with them has yielded positive impact in the State.
‘We came to receive the blessings of Oba, His Royal Majesty, the Oba of Benin because we can’t come to Benin without passing through the palace.
‘And when we came, we requested the palace, as he did before, talk to the political gladiators, that is the contestants in the Saturday election to speak to them again to be law abiding because the first time he spoke to them, there was result, all the violence went down.
‘We asked the palace again to increase the tempo by talking to them again. And before then, we met with all the political parties and the contestants in the gubernatorial election and we spoke to them, we explained to them the security arrangements we have put in place and the INEC chairman also told them the arrangement that has been made.
‘We asked them to partner with us for free and fair election and they have assured us that they will abide by the Electoral Laws as it is provided by the laws and by the grace of God, we shall have free and fair election,’ the IG said.