SEVERAL vehicles conveying men of the Nigeria Army, Police and the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps on Thursday engaged in show of force ahead of the proposed nationwide protest by some groups in commemoration of the annulled June 12 presidential election on the streets of Osogbo, Osun State.
Security men in many trucks blowing siren were seeing moving along some major streets in Osogbo early in the morning.
The men, who were fully armed, were sighted along Osogbo/Iwo road, Oke Fia Area, as well as MDS Area, moving in a long convoy.
They were also seen around Oja Oba, Osogbo/ Ilesha Road, Ogo Oluwa and Ayetoro Areas.
While the security men in large number were on the streets in the Osun state capital, many residents that were leaving homes for their respective places of work, after observing the unusually large number of security men, openly expressed concern about the development.
When contacted, the spokesperson of Osun State Police Command and the NSCDC, Yemisi Opalola and Daniel Adigun, respectively, said the exercise was a ‘show of force’ to rein in those planning to foment trouble in the state.
Opalola, who said the command had beefed up security across the state, further explained, “It is a show of force to warn anybody who is planning to cause trouble in the state under the guise of protest. We are ready for the task.”
Also, the state NSCDC spokesperson, Adigun, said beyond the preparation ahead of the June 12 protest, activities of cultists and hoodlums had made it mandatory for the security agencies in Osun to brace up and flush out criminals from the state.
Meanwhile, the Osun State Government has said it would not allow anyone hide behind the protest to disrupt the peace of the state.
Special Adviser on Security to state governor, Abiodun Ige, who was responding to inquires on the large presence of security operatives on the streets of the state capital on Thursday, said whoever that was planning protest must do that within the ambit of the law.
Ige said, “On June 12, there is freedom of expression, freedom of movement as enshrined in the Constitution, but when people say they want to protest, they should know that some people will be planning evil.
“We don’t want anything called protest to be hijacked; it is a peaceful protest for you to say your mind, but that should not be hijacked by hoodlums.”