By Modupe Gbadeyanka
Vehicular movement has been banned in Edo State by the Nigeria Police Force from 11:59pm on Friday, September 18 to 6pm on Saturday, September 19, 2020.
A statement issued on Thursday in Abuja by the Force Public Relations Officer, Mr Frank Mba, said the directive was given by the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mr Mohammed Adamu.
On Saturday, residents of Edo State are expected at the polls to vote for who they want to govern them in the next four years.
The contest is majorly between candidates of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the All Progressives Congress (APC).
While the incumbent Governor Godwin Obaseki is flying the flag of the PDP at the election, Mr Osagie Ize-Iyamu is contesting under the platform of the APC.
This week, both parties were asked to sign a peace accord and they both promised to ensure that the exercise was successful.
However, in order to guarantee public order and safety, the police, which is the main security apparatus to be used for the poll, has said vehicular movement would be restricted during the time of the election.
In the statement, Mr Mba said, “In line with concerted efforts at ensuring public order and safety, during the forthcoming Edo gubernatorial election slated to hold on Saturday, September 19, 2020, the Inspector General of Police has ordered the restriction of vehicular movement from 11:59pm on Friday, September 18 to 6pm on Saturday, September 19, 2020.
According to him, the restriction order was informed by the need to prevent the free flow, circulation and use of illicit arms and hard drugs and checkmate the movement of political thugs and touts and other criminally-minded individuals especially from contiguous states from hijacking and disrupting the electoral processes.
“While regretting any inconveniences the restriction order may cause the citizens, the IGP enjoins the citizens to see the restriction as part of necessary sacrifices towards the enthronement of democracy.
“He, however, warns that the force will not sit idly-by and watch citizens who may want to engage in any criminal act – violent and destructive acts, snatching of ballot boxes, vote buying, vote selling, hate speeches, and other act(s) capable of compromising the electoral processes,” the police spokesman said.
Mr Mba also said the police chief has asked residents of Edo State “to go out en-masse on the day of the election and vote, noting that the police and other security agencies have been sufficiently mobilised to provide a safe, secure and conducive environment for the election.”
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