Layi Olanrewaju, Ilorin
In a view to stem the increasing political violence in Kwara State, Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed, has banned street rallies and processions.
The governor, in a special broadcast, yesterday, said: “Political campaign rallies have commenced, ahead of the general elections. In keeping with the tradition in our state, these campaigns are expected to be robust, but peaceful.
“Unfortunately, we’ve witnessed increase in criminality as a result of political activities, with a consequent threat to law and order.
“We will not let our state slide back into the dark era of fear and violence. No individual, group or political party will be allowed to disrupt the harmony that defines us as a people. In this regard, there is no doubt that the full weight of the law will be brought to bear on perpetrators of the violence we have witnessed.
“Anyone found to have either contributed to the recent violence or apprehended for involvement will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law, no matter their status, background or political affiliation.”
The governor said Kwara State’s peace, security and harmony cannot and will not be sacrificed for the ambition of any individual or political party.
“Yesterday, I chaired an emergency state security council meeting, and charged the police and other security agencies to deploy all lawful measures to secure life and property in the state.
“Following assurances from security agencies, I urge our people to go about their lawful activities without fear. Our security agencies are capable and ready to forestall any further recurrence of such ugly incident.
“As the governor, I assure you no effort will be spared to protect life and property of all law-abiding residents of the state. I, also, urge you to remain vigilant and report any suspicious activities, movements and developments to the security agencies for prompt action.
“In this regard, I’ve approved the establishment of a Joint Military Task Force, comprising the Police, Army, Navy, Air Force, Department of State Security, Civil Defence and the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA).
“The body is charged with providing an extra security and preventing a recurrence of the political violence witnessed in the last couple of days.
“As an additional security measure, political street rallies and processions are, hereby, banned across the state. Only political rallies in designated areas and with prior notification to the state police command will be allowed, henceforth.
“The state Police Command is, hereby, authorised to ensure full compliance.
Political parties and their supporters are also charged to campaign and solicit votes in a lawful manner and refrain from deploying divisive and inciting rhetorics or instigating violence against real or perceived opponents. Thuggery, vandalism, intimidation and other forms of criminality will neither be allowed nor condoned in any part of the state.”