Observers Says Security agents performed poorly in Bayelsa

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Coalition of Civil Society Election Observers Group ((CCSEOG) yesterday said security agencies did not live up to expectation during the Bayelsa State governorship poll.

The group doubted if the outcome of the exercise reflected the aspirations of voters, adding that the results should be cancelled.

Its Chairman,  Olufemi Lawson, told reporters in Lagos that thugs and hoodlums were on rampage on poll day, thereby violating the integrity of the process.

“We are miffed at the inability and failure of security agencies to intervene or try to stop hoodlums from perpetrating violence, especially in the snatching of ballot boxes and disruption of collation process at polling units, as most of the security personnel ran for their lives, leaving voters, INEC officials and observers at the mercy of rampaging mobs,” he said.

Lawson urged the international community to consider appropriate sanctions, including Visa ban, for perpetrators of election violence and their sponsors.

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He hailed the umpire for what he described as improved commitment towards logistics deployment and poll commencement, saying that they were timely in most voting locations.

Lawson condemned attacks on reporters and electoral observers, vote buying and violence, stressing that these indications underscored the militarisation of the process.

Chiding security agencies for partiality, he said soldiers and policemen in Ognis prevented agents of some political parties from entering the collation centres.

He alleged that the council chairman, Ebinyo Turner, and House of Assembly member, Munaleyefa Gibson were arrested by the police.

“The large presence of security officials did not deter thugs from instigating and perpetrating violence. We witnessed politicians coming to polling stations with masked thugs, who instantly snatched ballot boxes and chased away voters,” Lawson said.

THE NATION.


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