-Secondus urges government to allow free, fair elections in Bayelsa, Kogi
The Police Command in Bayelsa has assured of its readiness to provide adequate security during Saturday’s governorship election in the state. This comes a day after a Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja cleared the All Progressives Congress (APC) to participate in the governorship election.
Bayelsa Police Command Spokesman, SP Asnim Butswat, said yesterday in Yenagoa that the Police had put in place a robust security arrangement to ensure peaceful conduct of the election.
Butswat urged political parties to play by the rules as the police would not hesitate to wield the big stick to forestall security breach.
He said restriction of movement across the state will commence at midnight.
“Political parties and their supporters are hereby warned to desist from engaging in any act of violence capable of disrupting the poll.
They are further advised to abide by the Peace Accord they earlier signed and to cooperate with security agencies.
“Security agencies have been ordered to enforce restriction of movement both on land and on waterways, as from 12 midnight of Nov. 15 to 7p.m., of Nov.17, 2019.
“Movement of persons, vehicles, tricycles and motorcycles will be restricted as from 12 midnight of Nov. 15 to the end of the voting.
“The electorate are advised to come out and exercise their franchise by casting their votes for candidates of their choice,” Butswat said.
NAN reports that 31,000 policemen have been deployed to the state by the police high command to provide security during the poll.
In a ruling on Thursday, the appellate court panel led by Justice Steven Adah also cleared the APC deputy governorship candidate, Senator Biobarakuma Degi-Eremienyo for the November 16 election. The Appeal Court granted and made the following orders:
That the status quo ante bellum which existed on or before September 19, 2019, when the suit was filed be maintained pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice.
An interim order for stay of the judgment of the lower court delivered on November 12, 2019, pending the hearing and determination of the Motion on Notice.
The motion on notice to be heard on November 20, 2019, and the respondents to be served with the Motion on Notice and copy of the court order.
Meanwhile, the APC has accused the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) of promoting violence in Nembe local government area of Bayelsa ahead of the governorship election in the state.
The PDP held a rally in the area on Wednesday, November 13 where three people were reportedly killed and several others injured.
APC deputy national spokesman, Yekini Nabena, however, said the Bayelsa state government and its party should be blamed and held responsible.
He accused the PDP campaign team of mobilising armed thugs to the Nembe rally in a statement sent to journalists on Thursday, November 14.
Earlier, the national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Uche Secondus, had called on security agencies to allow the people of Bayelsa and Kogi states vote their choice in the governorship election.
Secondus while condemning the needless killing of a resident in Nembe Bayelsa state on Wednesday, November 13, urged security operatives especially the Nigerian Military not to allow themselves into areas that will lower their professional value in the eyes of well-meaning election observers and watchers.
Secondus said from inception APC knew that they were never wanted in Bayelsa state but continued with the help of operatives to heat up the state to frighten voters out of the ballot box.
“Even before the voting God has shown his mighty hands and cleared the violent prone APC out of the race,” Secondus said.
The PDP national chairman said that it would be disgraceful if the nation’s military will allow a civilian governor to infiltrate its system by using the institution to intimidate voters at the polls.
Secondus also condemned the harassment of the governorship candidate of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), Natasha Akpoti, by some thugs allegedly loyal to the APC.
He further urged members of the PDP and party supporters in the two states to refuse to be intimidated by coming out in their numbers to vote and defend their votes.