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Tight Security In Bayelsa As Governorship Poll Holds Today


-• Soldiers Intercept Political Thugs, Weapons • Police Restrict Movement

AHEAD of today’s governorship elections in Bayelsa State, security operatives yesterday arrested five suspected political thugs with explosives in Okaka, Yenagoa, the state capital.

Meanwhile, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) yesterday concluded the distribution all sensitive and non-sensitive electoral materials to all the eight local government headquarters in the state.

The Commander of Operation Pulo Shield (OP PS), Major General Alani Gafar Okunola, told journalists that security operatives under his command recovered one 36 Hand Grenade, two empty AK rifle magazine, a pair of military uniform and a combat shoe from the suspects who are undergoing interrogation.

He further explained that during a patrol around the Mansonkri fishing camp in Nembe and Southern Ijaw creek, his men recovered 8 pump action cartridges and various types of military rank badges, jungle boots, one cartridge carrier, three waist belts and three Nigeria Army infantry line yards from hoodlums.

To prevent the hijack of electoral materials, Okunola explained that the military had been involved in the movement of sensitive electoral materials and escorting electoral officials to the various local government areas.

“I want to assure you that we will not relent in our effort at making sure that activities of these hoodlums are adequately checkmated especially now that the Bayelsa State gubernatorial election is around the corner,” he said.

The commander said his men would alongside other security agencies already deployed to the state for the purpose of the election do everything humanly possible to ensure a peaceful election.

Hundreds of security operatives including the police, civil defence and military operatives have been deployed around Bayelsa State, particularly Yenagoa. Combat ready policemen have barricaded the road to the state headquarters of INEC, which has been a beehive of activities.

INEC spokesperson, Mr. Timi Wariwe said all the sensitive and non-sensitive materials have already arrived all the eight local government areas of the state. He said accreditation would commence as early as 8am.

The Bayelsa State Police Command has warned all political parties and their contestants to desist from any act capable of disrupting the election.

The command’s spokesperson, Asinim Butswat, advised the 20 contestants to abide by the peace accord they had earlier signed and comply with the regulations guiding the electoral process.

He explained that the Command in collaboration with other security agencies was collaborating to create an enabling environment for the smooth conduct of the governorship election.

The police urged the electorate to come out and exercise their franchise by casting their votes for candidates of their choice.

Butswat said security agencies have been ordered to enforce the restriction of movement of boats fitted with 200 horsepower engine and above and all river craft activities in the state waterways, from 7pm to 7am Friday to Sunday December 6, 2015.

He said any person or group of persons who violate the order would be arrested and prosecuted accordingly.

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