The Ekiti state police command says no policeman slapped Ayodele Fayose, governor of the state.
Fayose had said security operatives invaded the governor’s office on Wednesday and later assaulted him.
But speaking with TheCable on Friday, Caleb Ikechukwu, police spokesman in Ekiti, said the police respect the office of the governor and no policeman could have slapped him.
“No policeman can and will slap a sitting governor or deputy, they are our excellencies,” he said.
The command said two political parties wanted to have their rallies on the same date in Ado-Ekiti but the commissioner of police advised the parties to have their activities at different times because of the security implication.
The police had ordered the withdrawal of security details of candidates but Ikechukwu said those with the governor and his deputy who is the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) were not withdrawn.
“Police want to ensure a level playing ground for everybody, and we are withdrawing all security personnel from VIPs, and we will deploy them to areas they will be needed,” he said.
“We are not withdrawing our personnel from the governor and the deputy governor of the state. We respect them, and we can’t take away security from a sitting governor of a state.”
He also said the heavy deployment of police officers in the state is to ensure the safety of voters in the election.
Ahead of the election on Saturday, 30,000 officers from various units in the country were moved into the state.
“The deployment they’ve seen is to ensure their safety on the election day so that miscreant, hoodlums, thugs will not come to hijack the process,” Ikechukwu said.
“I want to assure you that the Nigerian police force is transparent. We are not a political body. Our men will not be on mask, and police officers posted to polling units will not carry arms, teargas.”
He added, however, that armed tactical teams were in strategic places to monitor the process.
“We will have our stationed tactical team for preemptive situations so that we will not be taken unaware, and that’s why you will see some of our men with arms and tear gas positioned at strategic places,” he said.
“We have to protect everybody, the collation centres and and escorts that would protect election materials through the routes to the collation centre. The foreign observers. We have NGOs monitoring the process and these people all need security. The security agencies on ground is a proactive measure.
“We have borders. Ekiti state is surrounded by four states, with over five exit routes. So, when you look at all this, you put security in place so that you don’t allow people to bring in thugs into the state. Then we have to check people and movement, to be sure that hired thugs do not come in to disrupt the election process.
“We’ve also done our risk assessment and we’ve identified our flashpoints, areas where would think there will be possible trouble. And what we’ve done in those areas, for proactive sake, we have our tactical team who are on ground to conduct patrol. They will check on vehicles to know those permitted to move. There will be stop and search.”
Movement, according to him, will be restricted 12 midnight till the election is over.”