Police douse fears of violence in Bayelsa
With a police strength of over 14,000 in addition to other security agencies that would be involved in strategic roles, it would be foolhardy for anyone to brazenly come out tomorrow to cause mayhem or chaos in a bid to disrupt the governorship elections.
The question however is whether the rabble-rousers who have been causing trouble in the state prior to the election would dare the might of the government represented by the security agencies. There have been talks about rival ex-militant groups weighing each other’s might on who has the right and influence over the election in the state.
Already, there has been one reported incident of killing heightening the fears of the people. But the Inspector General of Police (IGP) Mr. Solomon Arase, had earlier in the week at Yenagoa, made it known that the police will not tolerate any breach of the peace from any quarter.
In particular, he warned that any attempt by any individual or group to do this, would be embarking on an exercise in futility, as the police was set for any eventuality.
In his words: ‘’It would be a bad investment for any unscrupulous individual or group, who tries to scuttle the process by employing fake policemen during the poll, because, we are putting in place a unique identity process, that can’t be beaten. I am apolitical and not interested in any political party. My own brief is to ensure robust Police and security Architecture during elections’’.
Arase also warned his men against compromising attitude insisting that any policeman found wanting or caught in any unprofessional conduct will be dealt with. ‘’Don’t sacrifice your career for a politician. Don’t succumb to intimidation or enticement, be apolitical’’, he warned. ‘’Don’t be in anyway involved with any party, if and when you get into trouble for any misconduct, they can’t help you, especially when they enter government’’.
Party chieftains have been anxious over the security concerns in the state and have appealed to security agents in the state, to as a matter of priority ensure the safety of the lives and property of the residents.
Similarly in interview, the state Police Commissioner, Mr. Nasiru Oki, allayed the fears of residents of the state that the men of his command were equal to the task and that they should be rest assured, as their safety would be guaranteed by the state Police.
‘’We have mapped out plans to secure all vulnerable parts of the state. All the polling units shall be effectively policed, all the collation centres would be policed.
The INEC headquarters, would be heavily guarded.
‘’Those are the places that are highly vulnerable. Also, there would no vehicular movement on the day of election, as we shall impose a curfew that would be between 6am-12 midnight.
‘’We will also not allow people start roaming aimlessly around voting.
If we encourage that, people tends to start rumours and gossips and they may start dishing out, speculative election results, even before INEC’s announcements, this might create problems and may result in break down of law and order’’.