Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed of Kwara state has raised concern over security situation in the state ahead Saturday’s by-election in Oke Ero/Irepodun/Ekiti/Isin federal constituency of the state.
The alarm comes at the heel of an earlier allegation by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) of importation of political thugs and ammunition into the state by All Progressives Congress (APC).
The party State chairman, Honourable Kola Shittu, who addressed journalists along with a party member that was allegedly stabbed by suspected political thugs imported from some neighbouring town, also raised alarm over plot by federal government to deploy over 20,000 security agencies for the by-election.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has fixed Saturday November 17 for the bye election in Oke Ero/Irepodun/Ekiti/Isin federal constituency following the death of a PDP member of House of Representatives, Hon Funke Adedoyin.
The election would be a litmus test for the two major political parties in the state ahead of 2019.
There have been series of out cries by the PDP in the state about alleged plot to manipulate the election in favour of the APC.
Addressing supporters of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) who were on solidarity visit to Government House, Ilorin on Tuesday, Governor Ahmed disclosed that the All Progressives Congress (APC) led FG had changed security officers and posted fresh ones in the affected local governments.
The governor, who described the unfolding drama as intriguing and disturbing, said that he did not see any reason why politicians should make election a do or die affairs.
“I don’t see why people should make election a do or die affair if the aim is to serve the people.
“Election is a process that is expected to produce people that will deliver goods and services. It should not be a basis for getting things done on a do or die affair.
“Ordinarily I should be comfortable about the security situation, but the information reaching me, the divisional police officers have been changed. New ones are being posted.
“For us this is not good for the forthcoming election and it is not good for our current security needs. It portends that agencies are being positioned to disenfranchise and intimidate people in the forthcoming election. For me I don’t think it is a good way forward. It gives the picture as if democracy is under siege in Nigeria.
“I think we must take our democracy dearly if we want to use it as a platform for the delivery of goods and services to the people of Nigeria. So I urge the security agencies to look at critically and allow peace to reign.
“The peaceful environment we have created in the state through a sense of harmony and acceptance of people to come and stay with us. Most importantly we have lived as a cosmopolitan state. I think we should allow that to stay and allow people to exercise their civic right on Saturday and allow the votes of people to count.
“We don’t want what we saw in Ekiti and Osun states to happen in the state. In those states people were disenfranchised and intimidated. It is not good for democracy. We should allow people to reign and allow democracy to stand on its feet and deepen our democracy to improve on our delivery of goods and services to the good people of the state.
The redeployment of security agencies may sound strategic, to have a proper security in place but previous experience revealed that security agencies connived to intimidate and disenfranchise voters”, he said.