Police bans ‘processional campaign’ in Ogun
Threatens prosecution of campaign guidelines violators
IN an effort to check the rising political violence in Ogun state, the State Police Command has banned “Processional campaigns” by political parties in the State.
The Command which issued the order also insisted that, apart from the police, no political party participating in next month’s elections had the right to use uniformed personnel such as members of Vigilante groups, Task Force Officers or States own Traffic Compliance personnel to provide security at its political rallies.
The State’s Deputy Commissioner of Police in charge of Operations (DCP Ops), Mr. Akpoebi Egbuson read the riot act in Abeokuta, the state capital while addressing leadership of all the registered political parties participating at the forthcoming polls in the state.
Akpoebi, who was standing in for the yet to be named CP stated that the ban had become inevitable so as to “forestall electoral violence as well as series of complaints received by the police over defacing of posters and billboards of some political parties”.
The DCP also charged all the political parties to educate their party members towards ensuring that ethnicity, tribes and religion of contestants are not used as basis for campaigning but rather their campaigns must be based on issues and their manifestoes.
He also said that any political party that intended to hold any campaign rally in any part of the state must apply for police permission and protection at least, 72 hours before such rally or risk being arrested for violating the electoral guidelines.
Akpoebi explained that the ban on the use of uniformed operatives, aside from the conventional police was in compliance with the directives of the Inspector General of Police (IG) and that the 72 hours required was to enable the police adequately prepare for such.
While soliciting the cooperation of all participating political parties, Akpoebi also appealed to politicians to eschew any act capable of disrupting the peace of the State.
The police boss declared that whoever or political party found contravening the guidelines would be arrested and prosecuted for violating the Electoral Act guiding the conduct of the elections.