National chairman of the governing All Progressives Congress (APC), Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, has said that effective presence and performance of both Army and Police is needed ahead of Saturday governorship election in Ekiti state.
The Nigerian Police had said it will deploy about thirty thousand officers while the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) had deployed about 19,000 men.
Speaking with newsmen after a closed door meeting with the British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Paul Arkwright, yesterday in Abuja, Oshiomhole who reacted to the outrage over the deployment of 30,000 police officers for the forthcoming election said that it is not the number that matters but the effectiveness of the force in ensuring safety of voters and ballot boxes.
“Whether they should use the military or not use the military, I don’t think you want to argue that, over the years since 2003, 1999, the armed forces have always been deployed, don’t forget when I was in Edo state, I told people that I want the armed forces to be involved in the election because the rigging machine is serviced by criminals who are hardened and who are often hired, now if you have criminals wielding AK 47 on an election day, and the police is overwhelmed you want to say the army should not be deployed?
“We shouldn’t worry about who we deploy, I think we should all pray that however people are deployed that in the end we are not counting dead bodies.
Oshiomhole while apreciating the British High Commissioner for the visit assured that he would do everything to ensure a free and fair process in the Ekiti governorship election.
“For the process is more important than the outcome because we are looking at the Nigeria project in terms of sustaining democracy not the survival of a particular political aspirant whether it is on my party platform or in the platform of the opposition” he said.
On his part, Mr. Arkwright who said his country is interested in Nigeria’s democracy added that they intend to send observers for the election to ensure it is free and fair.
“The British High Commission will be sending a team there to observe the election and to ensure that they go smoothly, to ensure that INEC can do its job, that the security forces do their job and basically to ensure that the people of Ekiti state are allowed to freely express their opinion, to vote alonf with their conscience and to be able to do so in peaceful manner,” Arkwright said.
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