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Journalists attribute heavy security presence to success of Rivers rerun election

Rivers rerun election: Some journalists in Rivers have linked the level of success achieved in Saturday’s legislative re-run electio to the heavy presence of security personnel.

Journalists who spoke said it would have been difficult to record such level of success without the presence of security forces.

Olalekan Ige, Editor of a Port Harcourt-based tabloid, said that movement of journalists to the different parts of the state would have been impossible without such security presence.

From left: The Police Public Relations Officer for Rivers, Mr Nnamdi Omoni; Resident Electoral Commissioner for Rivers, Mr Aniedi Ikoiwak and DIG Zone 6, Mr Joshak Habila at the collation centre for the Rivers Legislative Rerun Election at Rumuigbo in Port Harcourt on Saturday (10/12/16).
From left: The Police Public Relations Officer for Rivers, Mr Nnamdi Omoni; Resident Electoral Commissioner for Rivers, Mr Aniedi Ikoiwak and DIG Zone 6, Mr Joshak Habila at the collation centre for the Rivers Legislative Rerun Election at Rumuigbo in Port Harcourt on Saturday (10/12/16).

He said the deployment of huge security presence to the state was a strategic step by the Federal Government to ensure the success of the poll.

“We all know how volatile Rivers is, especially during the elections. Without such level of security, I can tell you that the elections would not have held.

“You will agree that as journalists, we would not have had the confidence to move around to do our jobs,’’ he said.

Another journalist, Ruskin Amadi, a radio reporter, said that the military was highly professional and helpful in areas where he monitored the elections.

“At no time did I see soldiers involved at the polling units, they were mostly involved in securing the movement of materials in the places I visited

“They assisted in moving materials from the collection centres to the polling units and allowed the police to take over,’’ he said.

Emeka Njoku, a television reporter, praised the security agencies for the lockdown in movement of people across the state.

“That nobody, including highly rated politicians were allowed free movement unless those on official duties, is a good omen to the election.

“If people were allowed the freedom to move about, we would have recorded serious security challenges across the state,’’ he said.

Analysts say although a few issues erupted in some parts, they are minimal and can not be compared with previous elections in the state.

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