Inhabitants of Ekiti State have expressed deep concerns over the tension currently escalating in the state following plans by the Federal Government to deploy about 30 , 000 security personnel for the Saturday ’s governorship election.
A cross-section of stakeholders, said the development was heightening tension and instilling fears in the minds of the people .
A commercial car operator in Ikere, Ajibola Idowu , described the idea of moving such large number of security agents to the state as ill -advised , arguing that it would automatically give an impression that there would be unavoidable clashes on Election Day .
He said , “I have made up my mind to relocate my family members to Ita -Ogbolu in Ondo State on Thursday so that they can stay with my sister there . Nobody can guarantee that security men will not maltreat innocent people before or during the election . ”
A trader in Akure , Mrs . Bisola Ilesanmi , said the security operatives would want to justify the essence of their deployment by creating tension.
“Many of them can even decide to harass law abiding residents as a result of overzealousness just to impress their bosses that they are working , ” she stated .
A 70 – year -old retired headmaster , Mr . Ade Ashaolu , who lives in Oye – Ekiti , told our correspondent that he would remain indoors with his family throughout the day of the election .
He said , “My fear is that the politicians are too desperate to win this election and in such a situation, they would try to play smart . The heavily armed security personnel drafted to maintain peace may want to resist such illegality .
Once that happens, some overzealous personnel may decide to embark on massive arrest and apprehend innocent people in the process .”
The Mega Party Chairman in Ekiti , Dare Adekolu, however welcome the idea of deploying security personnel to the state .
He said , “It is a good development if they are coming to secure live and property . You can only enjoy dividends of democracy when you are alive . What I will not support is when they resort to intimidation and harassment of the electorate .”
The state PDP Publicity Secretary , Jackson Adebayo , also noted that security remained a serious factor in any election , provided it would be to protect lives and property .
He said , “The only concern is that they should not be deployed in favour of the APC candidate . We don’t need security to win the election . Let them maintain law and order; let them remain neutral and not compromise the integrity of the election .”
The APC Publicity Secretary , Taiwo Olatunbosun, also sees nothing strange in deploying security personnel to forestall a breakdown of law and order, stressing that it would not be the first time such thing would happen .
He said , “Under President Buhari , security personnel have been deployed and the opposition parties still won elections in some cases .
“People cannot hide under elections to perpetrate criminality . People must feel secured to exercise their civic responsibility . It is their inalienable right to enjoy freedom of movement.”