Ahead of today’s local government elections, the Lagos State Police Command warned all stakeholders, party agents, public officer holders and the electorate to desist from carrying firearms anywhere near the polling units.
The Commissioner of Police, Lagos State Police Command, Fatai Owoseni, who made this disclosure at the meeting with all stakeholders at the POWA hall, Oduduwa, Ikeja, said flouting of the rule means suicide for the carrier.
Owoseni, who was represented by the Deputy Commissioner of Police Operations, DCP Edgal Imohimi, addressed the scores of party chairmen, agents and faithful, who had thronged the centre to sign an undertaking not to cause violence during the polls.
He said, “If you want to commit suicide, come out with your firearms because the police will use proportional force against such persons.”
Speaking on the ongoing measures put on ground to profile the party leaders and have their biometrics taken, he said such move would help the police be hands on in their discharge of duties, especially in the eventuality of breakdown of law and order.
He said, “We have profiled you and have taken your biometrics. We have also interfaced with you personally and we will tell you what to expect from us.
“During this election, we don’t want political thuggery like we have witnessed in certain elections from different camps, which have caused mayhem.
“Arrests have been made and special teams at the Criminal Investigation Department (CID), Yaba, are investigating the cases.
“If any of the hoodlums are traced back to you, it will jeopardise your chances. Talk to your supporters not to be overzealous because we will not hesitate to write an intelligence report to your party and the government.
“Already, we have gotten some intelligence report that some hoodlums are ganging up somewhere and of course, we have sent our police team there.
“Also talk to your party agents that will represent you at the polling unit. They must be patient and not cause problems, especially where materials are delayed due to logistic problems.”
On other measures put on ground he said the police in conjunction with other security agencies had for two days observed a show of force in some parts of the state.
He said the security agencies deployed for the show of force were drawn from the military, the Lagos State Neighbourhood Corps and the Department of State Security.
He said, “Also, we will today carry out overt and covert operations geared towards picking up the few remaining hoodlums that have been billed to cause trouble.”
On the part of the police he said, “The police will not interfere with the electoral process as stated in the electoral laws and if they flout it, call the attention of the LASIEC.”