There is a heavy security presence in Osogbo as APC, PDP, Labour Party and other political parties make final preparations to win the Osun governorship seat billed for Saturday.
Governor Gboyega Oyetola, APC candidate in the election, is seeking re-election and hopes to beat major contenders like PDP’s Ademola Adeleke and Labour Party’s Yusuf Lasun.
Police operatives were seen on Friday at strategic places along with military armoured personnel carrier patrolling the town. The Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) operatives were also on the ground, including the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) men, controlling the influx of vehicles in and out of the town.
The office of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) located along Gbongan/Osogbo road was heavily manned by security operatives.
The Inspector General of Police, Usman Baba, had announced 21,000 police personnel would be deployed for the governorship election.
Mr Baba stated this in Osogbo at INEC’s ‘Osun 2022 Governorship Election Stakeholders’ Meeting’.
The police chief, however, said the deployment was not to intimidate residents but to prevent miscreants from hijacking or disrupting the election process.
The police also announced restrictions of both vehicular and human movements during the election. Johnson Kokumo, deputy inspector general of police in charge of Osun governorship election, disclosed this at the end of police interactive session with ‘Accredited Election Observer Groups’, NGOs and the media ahead of the election.
He also disclosed that human and vehicular movements would be restricted from midnight of Saturday until 6:00 p.m, of the same date (election day) but essential workers and accredited election observers and media would be allowed to operate.
Also, the NSCDC had deployed 11,226 personnel to provide security for the election. This is contained in a statement by NSCDC spokesman Olusola Odumosu.
The FRSC also deployed 1,500 personnel, 35 vehicles and two trucks and ambulances to clear road obstructions, carry out rescue operations in case of emergencies, and maintain orderliness in polling booths.
FRSC announced this in a statement by its spokesman Bisi Kazeem.
According to INEC, 15 political parties are participating in the election, while 1,955,657 registered voters will decide the fate of the candidates. It also said the election would take place in 332 registration areas across the 30 local government areas.
Though 15 political parties would be participating in the election. Messrs Oyetola and Adeleke contested the 2018 governorship election, with the former winning after a rerun.