Elections: Possession of weapons at rallies will not be condoned in Lagos — CP

THE police and other security agencies in Lagos State have said they will deal decisively with anyone found with arms during any political gathering in the state.

The Commissioner of Police in Lagos State, CP Edgal Imohimin,  said this on Tuesday while briefing newsmen on the activities of the Inter-Agency Consultative Committee ahead of the forthcoming general elections.

The press conference was also attended by the  INEC’s  REC for the state, Mr Sam Olumeko, and the heads of other security agencies.

“I have ordered all Area Commanders and Divisional Police Officers to, henceforth, face anyone found to be armed with firearms at any political gathering with proportional force which may be the use of arms when necessary.

“We assure Lagosians that we have made adequate security arrangements and what we expect of them is their cooperation,” he said.

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Edgal, who is the chairman of the committee, said that the meeting was about security preparations for the 2019 elections which will cover before, during and after.

He said that the meeting had the mission not only to analyse critically but to come out with a clear blueprint that would be acceptable by all and sundries.

According to Edgal, the blueprint will also be accountable, be professional and not be practised outside the law.

“Already, there is the crime analysis of zones and independent analyses by other security agencies. INEC has also commissioned experts to do its own assessment.

“Today, we are looking at some of these independent and security agencies’ assessments of crimes in the state and we will come up with strategies that will make these areas calm.

“We want to deliver to Lagosians a peaceful state where they can cast their votes without any form of harassment,” he said.

The police boss said they had done their appraisal and strategised on what was expected to be done to boost security in the state, stressing that they had updated their plans.

“We will employ more manpower and resources as we have been briefed adequately by other security agencies.

“We, hereby, call on Lagosians to be vigilant as we have gotten information that some people are planning to enter the state and impersonate security agents during the elections and that they have sewn uniforms.

“The advice is that they jettison the idea as we have put in place overt and covert measures to arrest the perpetrators and they will be made to face the full wrath of the law.

“Our waterways are also being monitored by the police in partnership with the Navy and the locals. This effort will also be reciprocated on land.

“The learning points have been taken into recognition and there will be no repeat of what happened in the past.

“Every rally will now be handled with a methodological strategy whereby people will be screened from carrying light arms,” he said.

The Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) for the state, Mr Sam. Olumekun said that the meeting was about security preparation for the elections and that he believed the police would be active.

“We have a detailed deployment profile of those who will be deployed for security during the elections which are commendable.

`We will start training them and we assure Lagosians that we are determined to conduct a free and fair election,” he said.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the police, the military, INEC officials and other security agencies in Lagos participated in the meeting.

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