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Police commend Ekiti politicians’ conduct over tribunal verdict

By From Ifedayo Sayo, Ado-Ekiti   |   09 May 2010   |   10:00 pm  
EKITI State police command has commended the mature behaviour of politicians in the state before, during and after the election petition tribunal judgment in the governorship suit filed by the Action Congress (AC) against Governor Segun Oni’s victory at the April 25, 2009 re-run election.

The State Police Commissioner, Mr. Chris Katso, said the peace that prevailed in the tense atmosphere was informed by the dialogue the state police command had with the leaders of the two major political parties in the state, AC and PDP. He added that he was happy that the politicians co-operated with the police to ensure that the peace of the state was not threatened after the judgment.

Katso in an interview with journalists at the weekend said he was particularly impressed that no single ugly incident was recorded after the judgment and urged the politicians to continue to put the interest of the state above selfish interest for the state to witness peace and tranquillity.

There had been uneasy calm in the state few days to the tribunal’s judgement, which caused the state police command to deploy about 6,000 mobile policemen to the streets to maintained peace after the judgment.

However, despite the tense atmosphere, the residents did not foment trouble or engage in any form of protest as the state capital remained calm.

The AC had filed the petition challenging the result of the April 25 re-run election. The tribunal headed by Justice Barka Hamma in a split judgment of three – two validated the Oni’s victory in the election. A minority judgment favoured the AC candidate, Dr. Kayode Fayemi.

But Kasto, who described the tense atmosphere in state in the days preceding the day the tribunal delivered its judgment as normal, said “that type of situation was expected when there is a contest between two formidable political parties, especially when there is anxiety on whom the tribunal judgment would favour.

He disclosed that the hallmark of modern policing was about intelligence gathering, saying the Police were able to be on top of the situation and checkmate incidences of trouble through effective use of information

He said reports and other insinuations which would have appeared very ordinary were taking seriously and dealt with dispatch and absolute care, consequently intensive patrol was introduced, flash-points were effectively policed and vehicles entering the state were subjected to thorough stop and search

The Police chief further disclosed that without the co-operation of the citizenry of the state, the effort of the police would have been fruitless.

He added: “No matter the quantity of the physical force, we cannot overrun the people because power belongs to them, another strategy we adopted was to work on the psyche of the people by appealing to them about the uselessness of violence.

“We called all the key actors and leaders of all the political parties in the state to a round-table discussion, we made them to understand that if they want to rule over the state, they have to avoid setting it ablaze.

“We also made them to realise that politicking will come and go but Ekiti State would remain and if the decision of the tribunal does not go down well with them, other legal options could be pursued.”

Commending the political leaders, Katso maintained that they were all unanimous in helping to achieving peace, which was witnessed on the judgment day.



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