Ondo - The Inspector General of Police, Mr Mohammed Abubakar, has ordered the restriction of movements in and around Ondo State before and during Saturday’s governorship election in the state.
This is contained in a statement issued on Wednesday in Abuja and signed by the Force spokesman, CSP Frank Mba.
The statement said that movement in and out of Akure, the state capital was restricted from 6 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 18 to 6 a.m on Friday, Oct. 19.
It said the restriction order would affect the entire state from 6 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 19 to 9 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 20, the election day.
``The order exempted those on essential duties and or such degree of movement necessary for citizens to exercise their franchise on the election day,’’ the statement said.
``Consequently, travellers and citizens who intend to use roads in and out of Ondo State are advised to divert to alternative routes", it added.
The statement appealed for the understanding and cooperation of the people as the restriction was essentially to ensure their security as well as election officials and materials.
It said the strategy was also meant to curtail the influx and movement of undesirable and criminal elements in and out of the state before and during the election.
The statement said that policemen deployed for election duty had been properly trained, briefed and sensitised to their roles as stipulated by the Electoral Act.
``They are expected to be professional, non partisan, civil, but firm in their approach and relation to the public;
``They would strictly observe Force Order 237 on the use of firearms to ensure that inalienable rights of the citizens are not trampled upon," it added.
The statement appealed to politicians to play by the rules, adding that political office holders, who are not directly involved in the conduct of the election, were expected to peacefully cast their votes and return to their homes.
``On no account must they be involved in monitoring of election, as the police will enforce to the letter, all laws relating to the elections," it added.
The statement called on the citizens to be vigilant and report all suspicious movements or dealings to appropriate police authority.
It also advised parents to keep close watch on their children and wards in order not to allow them to be used by unscrupulous politicians for criminal purposes, ``as the full weight of the law would take its course on anyone apprehended’’.