By Yemi Adeleye
Lagos, Sept. 17, 2020 The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Thursday sought police support for the smooth conduct of the Oct. 31 bye-elections in Lagos State.
The Resident Electoral Commissioner of INEC in Lagos, Mr Sam Olumekun, made the request when he led other management staff of the commission to pay courtesy call on the Commissioner of Police, Lagos State, CP Hakeem Odumosu, in his office.
Olumekun appreciated the police for its efforts toward the success recorded in the 2019 general elections.
According to him, the visit was to familiarise with the new police chief and intimate him of the forthcoming polls.
He sought police support for a hitch-free conduct of the Lagos East Senatorial bye-election and Lagos State House of Assembly bye-elections in Kosofe Constituency II.
“Without police and other security agencies, the success of the 2019 elections would not have been achieved.
”Security is an integral part of elections. We want to thank the police.
“We are here to familiarise ourselves with you and to tell you that we need your maximum support for the conduct of free and fair bye-elections scheduled for Oct. 31.
“INEC is getting ready, we want the security to get ready too.
“We are committed to conducting free and fair elections and providing a level playing ground for all parties and candidates to deepen democracy in Nigeria,”the REC said.
Olumekun said that the commission would conduct the poll in accordance with electoral guidelines and strict observance of the COVID-19 protocols.
“We will be professional in these bye-elections and the elections will not be an avenue to spread Coronavirus in the state,”he said.
In his response, Odumosu, who commended INEC boss for the visit, assured that the police would provide adequate security for electoral materials, INEC staff and voters for both bye-elections.
He said that the police would play by the rule of engagement, adding that there would be a level playing ground for all participants and parties.
The police commissioner, however, urged INEC to do a lot of advocacy on the need for voters to observe COVID-19 protocols on election day.
The bye-elections became necessary following the death of occupants of the seats in both the Senate and the Lagos State House of Assembly.