Curfew suspension , Our men on ground –Police
By Michael Ofulue
Despite the lifting of curfew and restriction of vehicular movement in Oba-Akoko in Akoko South/West local government of Ondo State, the state police command yesterday said its men deployed to keep surveillance in the area would remain there until a contrary directive.
It would be recalled that suspected hoodlums attempted to distrupt electoral process in the area during which police station was torched, vehicles destroyed and two unidentified persons reportedly lost their lives during a sporadic shooting by the miscreants who wanted to snatch ballot boxes.
The ugly situation made the state government to issue restriction of vehicles and persons movement within the town until normalcy returned.
The State Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) Mr Femi Joseph who spoke to The Hope about lifting of the restriction in the town said, “Though normalcy had since returned, the security deployed to the town are to keep surveillance and ensure that everybody goes about his or her legitimate duties unmolested.
He said the officers will remain there until a contrary directive from the Commissioner of Police, Mr Undie Adie.
Joseph who had earlier confirmed the arrest of 20 persons alleged to have been involved in the civil disturbances during the last Saturday House of Assembly elections in Oba Akoko told The Hope that the presence of security men in the town helped in solving the crisis that would have escalated if not for the timely intervention of mobile policemen who condoned the town.
He explained that the police saddled with the responsibility of maintenance of law and order, protecting lives and property has taken proactive measures necessary that would prevent such future occurrence warning those in the habits of fomenting trouble to desist or face the consequences of their action.
“Government has lifted the curfew in Oba Akoko and its environs, but that does not mean that we are withdrawing our men drafted to maintain peace in the town.
“Our policemen will continue to patrol all the nooks and crannies of the area and ensure that criminal elements do not raise their ugly heads again.
“We have provided necessary and adequate security to prevent any possible breakdown of law and order in the community and everybody is already going about their businesses and peace has fully returned”, Joseph stated.
The police imagemaker disclosed that those arrested for their alleged involvement would soon be taken to the court immediately the police conclude their investigations.
The Hope reporter who visited the State Criminal Investigation and intelligence Department of the state police command yesterday saw some relatives of the arrested suspects with legal solicitors who have come to solicit for their bails.