By Carol V. Utulu
Asaba – The Police Command in Delta has warned vigilante groups in the state to steer clear of venues for Saturday’s Governorship and State Assembly elections.
The spokesman of the command, ASP Chucks Orisewezie, gave the warning in a statement on Wednesday.
He said that the warning was in order to enable the police to maintain law and order during the elections.
Orisewezie added that the warning was aimed at ensuring neutrality and impartiality in the electoral process.
“Community vigilante, anti-cult groups, private security guards, and unauthorised security outfits are hereby warned to steer clear of the election (venues),“he said.
He said that it was the sole responsibility of the police and other approved security agencies to secure INEC’s sensitive and non-sensitive electoral materials, polling units, and facilities as well as protect officials and the electorate.
According to the spokesman, the warning is coming against the backdrop of the recent arrest of some suspects, by a detachment of the Police Mobile Force.
He said that the suspects, who were found to be in possession of pump action rifles, claimed to be vigilantes from Udu Local Government Area of the state deployed to CBN, Asaba by the Chairman to escort election materials.
He said that the suspects have since been arraigned at the Asaba Chief Magistrate Court.
Orisewezie said that the restriction of vehicular movement from 06:00hrs to 18:00hrs on election day by the command still stood.
“The restriction is in the overall interest of peace and safety for all.
“The commissioner of police wishes to remind the stakeholders that their security aides are not permitted to go with them to the polling booth where they are to cast their votes.
“The commissioner of police solicits the support of the traditional rulers, religious leaders, youth leaders, parents and political stalwarts to talk to their, children, wards and supporters.
“The commissioner of police assures Deltans that adequate security has been put in place to guarantee their safety as they go to the polls to exercise their franchise,” he said.
He warned that the police would not fold its arms and watch hoodlums break the law unhindered.
According to him, violators of the law will be sanctioned. (NAN)