The Nigerian Police Force, NPF, has issued a “no movement” order for vehicles including canoes, ships and other means of transportation via waterways in Imo, Kogi and Bayelsa states, starting from Friday.
The development was announced Tuesday by the Inspector-General of Police, Olukayode Egbetokun through the Force spokesperson, ACP Olumuyiwa Adejobi, at a press briefing which held at the Force Headquarters in Abuja.
According to him, the decision was in line with measures put in place to ensure free, fair and credible elections in the three states.
The IG also announced that some state security outfits including Ebubeagu and other quasi-outfits must not be seen operating during the exercise thereby placing a temporary barn on them throughout the election period.
IG Egbetokun, also explained that marine and gunboats have been deployed in the three states considering the riverine terrain of the states while maintaining that the three states have been fortified with different security equipment, including helicopters that will be deployed for aerial patrol.
Meanwhile, in another development, a peace meeting organised by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, ahead of Saturday’s governorship election in Imo State yesterday, ended in confusion after the INEC National Commissioner representing South-East, Kenneth Ukeagu, ordered journalists to shut down their cameras and other gadgets.
The directive was however challenged by the Labour Party deputy governorship candidate, Tony Nwulu, who questioned the rationale behind the order and insisted that there was no way the media would be shut out of the stakeholders’ meeting and queried if the meeting was “a secret cult.”
This led to a gross disunity among participants at the peace meeting which held in Owerri, the state capital and had in attendance traditional rulers, officials of INEC, gubernatorial candidates of the PDP, APC and LP as well as other chieftains of the various political parties in the state.
It was gathered that Participants, particularly traditional rulers at the session fled the hall as arguments ensued and the interactive session disunited following the opposition to Ukeagu’s directive by the Labour Party and the Peoples Democratic Party members.
Meanwhile, the running mate to the Peoples Democratic Party governorship candidate, Jones Onyereri was reported to have also supported Nwulu, insisting that the media must be part of the session.
Onyereri alleged that the directive was “a confirmation that the All Progressives Congress had made arrangements with the electoral umpire to rig the election’’ as he displayed copies of documents which he described as fake results sheets allegedly published on the INEC portal during the House of Assembly election in the state.
His allegation led to a shouting match as the APC members in the hall surged towards the members of the opposition parties.
Fearing a possible outbreak of violence, the Punch reports that traditional rulers, party leaders and the nine resident electoral commissioners deployed for the election fled the hall as security agents including the police, Civil Defence Corps, and others could not control the rowdy situation with party faithful raining verbal abuse on one another.
Relatedly, the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC and the Trade Union Congress, TUC on Tuesday directed workers in Imo State to commence a strike on Wednesday (today) in protest against Governor Hope Uzodimma who is seeking a second term in office in the poll.
This has caused anxiety as stakeholders fear that the strike could jeopardise the election as the INEC might not be able to distribute and transport materials due to the planned shutdown of the transport system and other public facilities in the state.See Dollar(USD) to Naira Black Market Exchange Rate Today!