1,650 security personnel for Edo APC primaries
Committee Assures Aspirants Of Fairness
Security agencies in Edo State will today provide 1,650 personnel for the All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship primaries, which will hold in Benin City, the state capital.
Meanwhile, Governor of Katsina State and Chairman of the Edo State APC Governorship Primaries Committee, Aminu Masari, has assured of a credible process, saying the committee would be fair to all the aspirants.
But Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State has called on the Committee to ensure that the same rules, which produced a successful APC primary election in Kogi State, are used in today’s primary election in the state.
The police said it has deployed 1,200 personnel to provide watertight security for the gubernatorial primary of the party in the state.The Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) also said that it would deploy 450 of its officers for the exercise, while it is expected that the Department of State Security (DSS) and military would also deploy their men to the Sam Ogbemudia Stadium venue for the primaries.
The Commissioner of Police, Chris Ezike, while briefing journalists on security arrangements for event, warned impostors, trouble makers and those who do not have business with the exercise to steer clear of the venue.
Ezike said: “I want to say that the police in conjunction with other security services are ready to do the needful, to provide safety and security to the delegates, officials, aspirants themselves and their agents.
“We are also ready to provide security to the good people of Edo State so that there will not be any bitterness, rancour and acrimony in the course of the primaries.
“As you are aware, the party sets the rules in the primaries, so our job is to police the rules as set. However, violence is not a tool in an election.”
On his part, State Commandant of NSCDC, Walter Akubuiroh, said 100 of the 450 personnel that would be deployed by the para-military security outfit for the exercise would be armed.
“We are going to strategically position our men around the venue while some others will provide security for the delegates as well as the aspirants. “We will also be working to ensure free vehicular movement within the precincts of the venue where the primaries will take place,” Akubuiroh said.
Speaking during a courtesy visit of the Committee to Oshiomhole in his office yesterday, Masari said: “We are here to conduct primaries for those who are contesting to be the next governor of Edo State. We will abide by the guidelines of the party, and we also assure all aspirants that we will be just and fair to all. We are not angels, but certainly we hope, that by the time we finish, the appeal committee will have no work. If truly the candidates are interested in the state, in the party and in the country, we assure them that the outcome will be an outcome that will stand the test of time. I hope that all they are doing is in the interest of Edo State, and they know that out of the 12, only one of them must emerge.
“So, the process has been laid down, and I hope they will comply with the process as well. And we assure them that we will do justice to all. We hope they will cooperate in the best interest of the people of Edo State and Nigeria.”
Oshiomhole, who welcomed members of the committee to the state, said: “We are confident that the national secretariat couldn’t have had a better person to provide leadership for this democratic exercise. Let me also appreciate you for coming along with very senior members of the government of Katsina State. By their level, there is no question that you have a very strong supportive crew that will ensure the assignment is made much easier for you.”