The Lagos State Commissioner of Police Kayode Egbetokun has assured all residents of Lagos State of adequate security across the state as they go out to vote on Saturday February 16 and March 2nd.
made this known at a Town Hall Meeting organized by Kimpact Development Initiative and International Foundation for Electoral System which was meant to together electoral stakeholders to discuss ways to mitigate violence during the elections.
Egbetokun who was represented by DPO Man Centre Ikeja, CSP Tanaruno F.A. stressed that the security body is on top of its game to ensure the elections are violence free. She explained that, “there would be security officers at the polls but they won’t carry any arm so that voters do not feel intimidated, however, there would be security officers who would be roving around various polling units to ensure they are alert and ready to curtail any incidence of violence that might want to erupt at the polls.”
Tanaruno who read the riot act to the audience present at the town hall meeting urged the youths most especially not to be involved in any act that could incite violence.
For his part, the Director of the International Press Centre, Lanre Arogundade said the media has not been instrumental to any form of electoral violence that has occurred stressing that the political parties have been the one perpetrating violence.
Arogundade however urged journalists to abide by ethical standards while covering elections. “Don’t inflame passions, avoid playing on ethnic and religious issues in your reportage”, He added.
The Director of the National Orientation Agency, Lagos, Mr Waheed Lekan Ishola commended Kimpact Development Initiative for embarking on the project which is complementing the roles of NOA to ensure accurate voters’ education and sensitization.
“There are three groups that we’re concerned about in the electoral process; the Electoral body and security agencies; members of the political class; and The People. We urged the electoral body to ensure transparency, professionalism and be gender sensitive. To the security agencies, they should maintain law and order, to members of the political class who are beneficiaries of the election should ensure their supporters to shun violence. The winners should be magnanimous in victory and losers be gracious in defeat.” The NOA Director added.
Also present at the town hall meeting to speak to Lagosians towards ensuring a violence free election were Buba Luka, CSO Desk officer, INEC Lagos, Salaam Lateef Oladimeji, Country Representative, African Youth for Development Commission (AYDEC).
KDI also launched a toll free line for residents within the South Western States of Nigeria to report any form of violence, 08000010000