By Kingsley Omonobi
The Police Service Commission has expressed satisfaction with the role so far played by the Nigeria Police and other security agencies in the Bayelsa and KOGI States gubernatorial elections.
The interim report of the Commission indicates that the Police were very professional despite numerous challenges in the two states.
The strong monitoring team of the Commission to the two states observed the over-proliferation of illegal weapons, inadequate logistics and challenging terrains as militating factors.
The Commission monitored the conduct of Police Officers on election duties in Bayelsa and Kogi States on Saturday, November 16th, 2019 and observed that the Police were professional in their conduct during the elections, while the activities of illegal armed men overstretched the capacity of these Officers to protect the voters and the electoral materials.
A statement by Ikechukwu Ani, Press and Public Relations officer said, ‘The Commission calls on the leadership of the security agencies to immediately take steps to mop up these arms to safeguard the nation’s democracy.’
The Commission team observed that the Police did its best to contain the situation but noted that in several instances they were overwhelmed.
The Commission team also observed that the Police were early at voting centres and had adequate presence in most places.
The Commission covered the three Senatorial districts in Kogi State and two in Bayelsa states, Bayelsa Central and Bayelsa East.
It received about 31 distress calls to its advertised dedicated telephone numbers.
Most of the complaints were on snatching of ballot boxes and indiscriminate shootings.
There were also complaints on other election malpractices such as vote-buying and multiple thump printing.
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PSC leader of Delegation and Hon. Commissioner in the Commission Austine Braimoh said the Commission will continue to hold the Police accountable for its actions or inactions.
He said for the Bayelsa and Kogi States Governorship election, the conduct of the police was above average.