The Oyo State Command of the Nigeria Police, on Thursday signed a peace agreement with political parties in the state ahead of the forthcoming general elections billed to take place on February 16 and March 2.
The state Commissioner of Police, Mr. Abiodun Odude, who facilitated the peace accord between the command, the Independent National Electoral Commission, the political parties and other stakeholders, said any erring party whose members foment trouble would pay a fine of N100 million.
At the event were representatives of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Zenith Labour Party (ZLP), African Democratic Congress (ADC) Action Democratic Party (ADP) Social Democratic Party (SDP) and Alliance for Democracy among others.
Odude said that the peace pact was “to ensure safety of lives and property before, during and after the 2019 general elections”, stressing that, anyone found in possession of illegal weapons would bear full wrath of the law and face the consequence of his or her actions.
He urged all leaders of political parties, their candidates and supporters to maintain decorum during campaigns and refrain from making hate speeches or statements capable of hitting up the polity or threaten the peace of the state.
Odude, who read the riot acts to them, said the command has been inundated with petitions by some aggrieved party loyalists complaining that their posters and billboards were being maliciously defaced, destroyed or removed outrightly by yet-to-be identified agents of opposition parties.
He said, “Similarly some political parties have begun to make inflammatory remarks and hate speeches aimed at denigrating their opponents,” Odude said, while remarking that, “the command will not fold its arms while some disgruntled anti-democratic elements set the state on conflagration of some sorts.
“We are determined to deal decisively with individuals or politicians no matter how highly placed who engage in any form of violence before, during and after the elections,” Odude added.
Resident Electoral Commissioner of INEC, Mr. Mutiu Agboke said the commission would not collaborate with anybody to rig the elections, stressing that, “You either win an election or lose.”