Ijaw religious body calls for tight security in Bayelsa

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Ijaw religious body, Order of Egbesu Brotherhood (OEB), has called on the Federal Government to heighten security around the Bayelsa State office of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) ahead of the supplementary elections.

OEB, in a statement by its Coordinator Bodmas Kemepadei, further said tight security should be beefed around Registration Area Centre (RAC) in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of the state where part of the election was scheduled to hold on March 23.

Kemepadei said the body was worried about its findings of strange faces lurking around the INEC office at night warning that security of the area could be compromised by external forces.

He said: “We also suspect that there may be plots to burn down the INEC office to stall the conduct of the rerun election of 23rd March, 2019.

“If we may recall, we all witnessed how on the 10th of March, 2019, a candidate entered the INEC office with unauthorized military personnel in  the company of non-Bayelsans, and harassed a ward agent. If not for the timely intervention of some observers, it would have been chaotic.

“We therefore call on all relevant stakeholders to up the ante by tightening up the security to ensure that the office is protected for the peaceful conduct of the re-run election.

“Any candidate with unauthorised military escorts must not be allowed to gain entrance from now until election results are announced.

“The activities of military personnel in Ukubie, Lobia, Azuzuama and Koluama, especially in the RAC centres of these wards should be checked.

“The authenticity of military personnel, military gunboats, election observers, journalists who may want to visit these areas on or before election day uninvited, must be thoroughly investigated”.

Kemepadei called on the state government to invoke the Community Safety Corps law to help the police ensure thorough community policing in the affected  communities.

“We further call on INEC officials to be careful and neutral in their dealings with candidates of political parties as there are already rumours of SPOs and collation officers wining and dining with a candidate who is brandishing already prepared result.

“For a free and fair election devoid of any conflict amongst our people, we hope that this information if adhered to will avert a state disaster and forestall any possible danger. We pray for peace and wish all Bayelsans well”.

 

 

Culled from here

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