The Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Fatai Owoseni, has urged members of political parties to eschew violence ahead of the July 22 local government elections.
Owoseni made the appeal at the Lagos State Police Command, Ikeja while meeting with state chairmen and secretaries of the parties.
He said the meeting was called as a result of fracas which occurred in the Surulere area of Lagos during mock primaries of a political party which claimed the life of one person.
The police commissioner said it was also for proper interaction between the political parties and the police, to be able to nip in the bud any untoward incident.
“The incident that happened last week is a pointer that political activities in Lagos are no longer cordial as they used to be.
“This is Lagos where everyone has taken each other as brothers. I’m surprised to see an incident where someone had to lose his life.
“I see no reason why political activities should lead to the death of one. I thought we had gone beyond do or die politics.
” If we, in the process of wanting to get power kill people, then who do we govern when we eventually get the power?
“You will help us more if you don’t bring tension into political activities by giving us more time to fight criminals who are after our families.
” If you are going to make the few policemen we have follow politicians, it doesn’t make any sense. We need to lay good examples,” he said.
Olubolaji Osinowo, State Secretary, Labor Party, LP, expressed the hope that the Lagos State Independent Electoral Commission (LASIEC) would be fair to all parties, to avoid any form of violence.
Funsho Ologunde, State Vice Chairman, All Progressives Congress, APC, also urged the electoral body to provide adequate forms to enable everyone who had aspiration to obtain them.
According to him, failure of the electoral body to do so is one of the reasons why violence occurs during elections.
Fatai Ibuowo, State Chairman, National Conscience Party, NCP urged the police to be neutral during the primaries and the elections to avoid violence.
He also identified the fees charged by LASIEC for forms as a vexed issue which was causing tension and should be reconsidered.
“LASIEC is charging fees for the collection of forms which is supposed to be free. The police should please intervene to prevent any form of violence.” he said.
Lanre Ogundare, State Secretary, Accord Party commended the police on its efforts during the party’s primaries which were peaceful.
Owoseni subsequently gave the party representatives numbers to call whenever they need police assistance.
He advised them to inform the police of their activities at least 72 hours in advance.