As the wave of political violence is spreading across Bayelsa State in the count-down to the governorship supplementary election, the Police in the state said that over 2,000 officers have been deployed to ensure free, fair and credible poll.
Nasiru Oki, out-going Commissioner of Police Bayelsa State, told NEWSVERGE that the police is fully prepared for the re-run election and that adequate logistics have been made available to ensure inch-free election.
When asked on the pockets of attacks on some individuals in the state hours to the election, Mr. Oki said that though such cannot be ruled out but maintained that the “Police is fully prepared”.
It would be recalled that the Speaker of the Bayelsa State House of Assembly, Hon. Konbowei Benson, came under attack on Thursday morning by unidentified assailants who bombed the house in the Korokrosie Community of Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of the state with improvised explosive devices.
Although, no life was lost in the bomb attack on Hon. Benson’s home but the explosives was suspected to be dynamite, caused a huge damage to the building.
This development is coming just 48 hours before tomorrow’s scheduled re-run election in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area.
Also yesterday, five thugs were arrested by the police in a hideout Yenagoa, the state capital. The men were said to have plotted to bomb the country home of former President Goodluck Jonathan.
The bombing incident, which occurred about 4am Thursday morning, is one of the series of attacks recorded between suspected loyalists of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in the build-up to tomorrow’s re-run election in Southern Ijaw and other 101 units of Ekeremor, Nembe, Yenagoa and Sagbama local Government Areas of the state.
Meanwhile, five suspected thugs allegedly hired to bomb the home of the former President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan have been arrested by operatives of the State Police Command.
The arrest, which was carried out in an unnamed hotel in Swali area of the Yenagoa Local Government Area of the state, has sparked off security concerns in the state.
Sources confirmed that the suspects were rounded up by the police based on a tip-off while they were perfecting their strategy on how to attack the Yenagoa home of the former president.
While the APC governorship candidate, Chief Timipre Sylva confirmed it during a media interaction and described the suspects as hired hands of the ruling PDP, the PDP is yet to react to the claim.
But the police, through its spokesman, Astim Butswat, did not mention the political affiliation of the arrested suspects, but insisted that those arrested were “plotting to attack a yet to be identified target.” The police gave the names of the arrested suspects as Timiere Matthew (25); Samuel Joe (27), Emeka Asupha (34), Ebipre Ebebi (25) and Okilo Matthew (25).
The Police Command has announced the restriction of movement of persons, motor vehicles and tricycles in the entire state from 6am to 6pm on Saturday when the supplementary state governorship election will be conducted in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area and 101 units.
This was contained in a statement on Thursday by the PRO of the state police command, Asinim Butswat, a Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP).
Butswat said that security agencies had been ordered to also enforce the restriction of movement of boats fitted with 200 Horse Power engines and above and all river craft activities in the state waterways from 7pm to 7am from today to Sunday 10 January, 2016.
The PRO said the command had beefed up security with increased foot, vehicular, and waterways patrols as well as intensive aerial surveillance in all nooks and crannies of the state – to ensure a hitch-free conduct of the re-run governorship polls.