In preparation for the governorship election in Bayelsa State, the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) has issued a stern directive banning orderlies and guards from escorting their employers to polling units.
The Deputy Inspector General (DIG) in charge of the election in the state, Daniel Sokari-Pedro, conveyed the warning in Yenagoa, emphasizing the consequences for non-compliance.
Directive and Consequences for Violation
DIG Sokari-Pedro, during a meeting with stakeholders and senior police officers, relayed the directive from the Inspector General of Police, Kayode Egbetokun.
He stressed that police personnel should be committed to ensuring a free, fair, safe, and unhindered democratic process during the upcoming off-cycle election.
The specific directive prohibits orderlies or guards from accompanying their principals to the polling centers.
He warned that individuals who disregard this directive would face arrest and subsequent trial in the orderly room. The severity of consequences may extend to dismissal, signaling the gravity attached to the enforcement of this directive.
Commitment to Democratic Process
The DIG assured stakeholders and officers that the police would provide protection at every stage of the electoral process, including voting, counting, and collation.
He emphasized that officers would face sanctions for any breaches, underscoring the commitment to upholding the integrity of the electoral exercise.
Identification of Volatile Areas
Recognizing the political volatility in the state, DIG Sokari-Pedro identified specific areas, including Sagbama, Nembe, Kolokuma/Opokuma, Southern Ijaw, and Brass, as potential flashpoints.
These locations have been earmarked for enhanced vigilance and security measures to prevent election-related violence.
Youth Involvement and Political Patrons
The DIG highlighted that youths have been identified as key participants in election-related violence. Additionally, he pointed out that influential figures, often referred to as “godfathers” and principals, play a role as patrons and contributors to such violence.
The police are poised to address and mitigate these challenges.Read More On The Topic On TDPel Media