The Oyo State Police Command has pledged to deal with politicians or individuals who engage in any form of violence before, during and after the forthcoming elections.
The state’ Commissioner of Police, Mr Abiodun Odude, said this on Thursday in Ibadan during a stakeholders meeting and signing of peace accord by party leaders and their candidates.
“It is either the politicians or their supporters participate peacefully in the election and play by the rules or be put behind bars because the command would not give any chance for those who want to cause violence,’’ Odude said.
He also warned politicians carrying arm to desist from the act, saying the command would deal with anyone caught no matter how highly placed.
Odude noted that the law banning proliferation of illegal arms was still in force.
He decried the recent activities of some overzealous party supporters whose actions and utterances were capable of threatening free, fair and credible elections in the state.
“Recently, the command has been inundated with petitions by some aggrieved party loyalists who complained that their posters and bill boards were maliciously defaced or destroyed by unknown agents of opposition parties.”
“Some political parties have begun to make inflammatory remarks and hate speeches aimed at denigrating their opponents.”
“I call on all party leaders, candidates and their supporters to exhibit high sense of responsibility and decorum and play the game according to the rules, especially at campaign rallies.”
“We expect politicians, especially candidates, to warn their supporters against engaging in embarrassing acts,” Odude said.
The commissioner said the command would not fold its arms while some disgruntled and anti-democratic elements set the state on fire.
Also speaking, Mr Mutiu Agboke, the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in Oyo State, assured politicians that the commission would not connive with anybody to win or lose election.
Agboke urged politicians to do what was right, saying votes would count in the elections.
The representatives of political parties signed the peace accord and promised to support the security agencies in ensuring peaceful elections.