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Nov 11 election: Orderlies, guards escorting principals to polling unit will be arrested – Police

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Nov 11 election: Orderlies, guards escorting principals to polling unit will be arrested – Police
Nov 11 election: Orderlies, guards escorting principals to polling unit will be arrested – Police

The Nigeria Police Force, NPF, has vowed to arrest and prosecute perpetrators of election violence and their sponsors in Bayelsa.

The DIG in charge of election in the state, Daniel Sokari-Pedro, said this on Thursday in Yenagoa as the state prepares to elect a governor on Saturday.

He said no orderly or guard would be allowed to escort his principal to the polling unit.

Sokari-Pedro gave the warning when he addressed election stakeholders and senior police officers deployed for the governorship election.

He said the Inspector General of Police, Kayode Egbetokun, has directed police personnel to be committed to a free, fair, safe and unhindered democratic process during the off-cycle election.

According to him, the police consider all three senatorial zones in the state as volatile and have identified some local government areas considered as flashpoints.

“The three Senatorial zones that make up the state are politically volatile, and some local governments are flashpoints, they include Sagbama, Nembe, Kolokuma/Opokuma, Southern Ijaw and Brass.

“These are just some of the local governments that are most volatile.

“Unfortunately, the youths have been identified as the vanguard of election violence, and the so-called godfathers and principals are the purveyors and patrons of this,” Sokari-Pedro said.

He noted that election violence has been allowed to fester because both perpetrators and their sponsors have always escaped prosecution.

Sokari-Pedro directed police officers in all the local governments to carry out a show of force and put all suspects out of circulation.

“Any orderly or guard that escorts his principal to the polling centre shall be arrested and thereafter tried in the orderly room, in this case, if care is not taken, may lead to his dismissal.

“I want to assure you that at every point from voting, counting and collation, police shall provide protection for voters, INEC officials, property and materials. Sanctions shall be meted to officers for any breach,” he said.

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