by Adedayo Ademuwagun
Security has been beefed up in Osogbo and environs by virtue of the upcoming gubernatorial election in the state.
There were military checkpoints at various areas within Osogbo as well as roads leading into the town. The soldiers stopped and checked virtually every vehicle coming into and moving around the town.
Men of the SSS were also spotted in some areas. Also, policemen were on patrol on some roads and at places where activities relevant to the election were taking place. This included the INEC headquarters and the rally venues.
At one rally venue our journalist visited, police looked on vigilantly as the party supporters sang and chanted.
However, there were reports days ago that security operatives fired gunshots in the air while driving through roads. Some political supporters expressed concern about the presence of security men, saying it would intimidate the electorate and disincline them from voting, but residents seem to think differently about this.
Kunle Ilesanmi, a resident, says, “When they first came, they were shooting in the air. It frightened some people and people were annoyed. But I think the government has had a word with them and things are now in order.”
One resident named Tejumade Oyesina says, too, “We believe the soldiers and policemen are doing their job and they are here to help ensure that there is peace and security during this election period.
“But I believe this will not prevent people from voting. We are looking forward to the election, and I know that this Saturday, people will turn out very much to vote. We are not deterred by the presence of security men.”
Adijat Ibrahim, another resident, says, “Yes it is fearful to see soldiers and policemen on the roads with guns. But we are trying to get used to it for the time being.”
“They are not disturbing us or preventing us from going about our business. And so long as they don’t get in my way or cause people any trouble, everything is fine. They are doing their work and we are doing ours. We are not bothered. It is good that they are here.”
In the meantime the town has been peaceful so far and the people seem enthusiastic about the election. The election will hold this Saturday.
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