A security cordon has been thrown on Ekiti as the simultaneous accreditation and voting process is set to commence in Saturday’s governorship election.
Correspondents across the three senatorial districts report that armed policemen and personnel of sister security agencies such as the NSCDC, NDLEA and the FRSC were sighted at strategic locations.
In Ikere-Ekiti, home town of the Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) candidate, Prof. Olusola Kolapo, there was heavy security presence, with personnel of the police and NSCDC keeping vigil on the fringes of polling units.
At the Ofamofuru Polling Unit 007, Ward 02, of the PDP candidate, no fewer than 10 mobile police officers were sighted keeping vigil. In Isan-Ekiti, Oye Local Government Area, Ekiti North Senatorial District, where the All Progressives Congress(APC) candidate, Dr Kayode Fayemi, hails from, there was also heavy security presence.
At the Polling Unit 009 Ward 11 of the APC flagbearer , no fewer than five policemen were seen maintaining law and order as at 7.30 a.m. There was also tight security at the Unit 2 Ward 7, Federal Housing Estate Polling Unit, in Ado-Ekiti Central Senatorial District, with five policemen sighted.
Police had deployed 30,000 operatives, two helicopters and 250 patrol vehicles, including Armoured Personnel Carriers, for the election. The security operation for the poll would be supervised by the Deputy Inspector-General of Police, Operations, Joshiak Habila, who would be assisted by an Assistant Inspector-General of Police, four Commissioners of Police, eight Deputy Commissioners of Police and 18 Assistant Commissioners of Police.
Each Senatorial district would be manned by a Commissioner of Police while no fewer than four policemen and two others from other security agencies will be on duty at each polling unit throughout the state. Commissioners of Police and their personnel in states close to Ekiti such as Ondo, Osun, Kwara, Kogi, Ogun, Edo and Oyo had been directed to be on the red alert with their personnel.
The Police Mobile Force Unit, Counter-Terrorism Unit, the Special Protection Unit, the Anti-Bomb Squad, the Armament Unit, Force Criminal Intelligence and Investigation Department and the sniffer dogs section would also participate in the joint security effort. The police had said that a threat assessment had been carried out in the state and all identified flashpoints and trouble-prone areas had been addressed.
Restriction on vehicular movement in and out of Ekiti State also commenced from midnight of Friday and would be in place till the end of the election while travellers and other road users were advised to make use of alternative routes. Those on essential duties were, however, being granted passage.
Other security and safety agencies, including the military and FRSC, who are members of the Inter-Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security in the state, would complement the police during the election. Already, the NSCDC had deployed 19,997 personnel for the exercise and had also ordered the deployment of mobile surveillance vehicles and sniffer dogs.