The Nigeria Police Force, NPF, has committed to identify and prosecute perpetrators of electoral violence and their sponsors in Bayelsa.

On Thursday in Yenagoa, the state’s Director of Intelligence and Security (DIG) in charge of elections, Daniel Sokari-Pedro, made these remarks in advance of Saturday’s gubernatorial election.

He declared that neither an orderly nor a guard would be permitted to accompany his principal to the polling place.

Sokari-Pedro gave the warning as he addressed election stakeholders and senior police personnel deployed for the governorship election.

According to him, Inspector General Kayode Egbetokun has ordered all police forces to ensure that the off-cycle election is conducted in a way that is free, fair, safe, and uninhibited by any outside interference.

There are three senatorial districts in the state, and the police have identified several local government areas as potential flashpoints, he said.

Local governments in Sagbama, Nembe, Kolokuma/Opokuma, Southern Ijaw, and Brass, which correspond to the state’s three Senatorial zones, are potential flashpoints.

These are some examples of the more unstable municipal administrations.

Sad to say, “youth have been identified as the vanguard of election violence, and the so-called godfathers and principals are the purveyors and patrons of this,” as Sokari-Pedro put it.

He pointed out that the fact that those responsible for and those who financially support election violence have never faced consequences has allowed the problem to grow.

Sokari-Pedro ordered police in every municipality to put on a show of force and round up all of the criminals they could find.

Careless handling of this situation could result in the dismissal of any orderly or guard who accompanies his principal to the polling center.

“I want to assure you that police shall provide protection for voters, INEC workers, property, and materials throughout the entire process, from casting ballots to counting and collating the results. Officers will face consequences for any infraction, he said.

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