The Ondo State Command of the Nigeria Police Force has denied claims that it had arrested some members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the State.
Femi Joseph, the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) in the State made the denial in an exclusive telephone chat with SaharaReporters in Akure on Tuesday.
The PDP had raised an alarm that the police had been arresting and detaining some of its members ahead of Wednesday, when the party will hold its Flag off Campaign in Ondo State.
Mr. Joseph said the claims by the PDP were untrue and being orchestrated to score cheap popularity and sympathy among residents of the State.
He described the allegations of the party as a mere "false alarm" aimed at causing commotion among the political class in the State ahead of the November 26th poll.
"I think the PDP is just raising some false alarm to cause bad dust in the State since they are aware the governorship election is around the corner,” the police spokesman said. “Truly, we have been inviting people to our Command's headquarters office base on individual personality irrespective of their party divides.
"These people are stakeholders in the election process of the State that we [Police] feel could help us strengthen security as the governorship poll draws closer. So no one is being detained or arrested here, as it had been falsely spread by the ruling PDP in the State, because we are not politicians, we are security agents,” Mr. Joseph said.
He further cautioned all members of the political parties in the State to desist from dragging the name of the force into the murky waters of Ondo State politics.
The PDP had on Tuesday afternoon raised an alarm that its members were molested and arrested by the police.
Banji Okunomo, spokesman for the PDP faction that raised the alarm, in a statement issued to journalists in Akure, alleged that over fifty card-carrying members of the party were being detained at the police headquarters on Igbatoro Road in Akure.
He claimed in the statement obtained by SaharaReporters that the detainees were mostly youth leaders of the PDP in the State.
"Even though we are aware that the arrested persons are with men of the SIB [State Intelligence Bureau], we will not disclose their identities for security reasons. We are raising our voice to the whole world that democracy can only thrive where freedom of expression and freedom of association with choice political parties is allowed.
"We want to call on President Buhari to use his good offices to call the police to order so that our hard earned democracy will not be derailed,” the statement read.
The PDP spokesman further claimed that the arrest of its die-hard members by the police was a political move.