All is now set for the smooth conduct of the rerun National and State Assemblies elections in Rivers State.
The elections will take place in twenty three local government areas of the State on Saturday, March 19.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) at a stakeholders meeting reiterated its preparedness for the elections.
The Commission’s Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, told political gladiators in the state that the commission was living no stone un-turned in its bid to ensure success in Saturday’s polls.
According to him, one National Commissioner and three Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs) have been deployed to monitor the elections.
He also assured the people of the state that INEC has put in place measures that would guarantee the integrity of the electoral process ahead of the polls.
“I wish to assure the People of Rivers State that INEC has taken every measure and every precaution that will ensure free, fair and secured election on Saturday.
“All our Staff involved in the elections have been warned against compromising the processes and procedures in anyway whatsoever, violators will be severely sanctioned,” Yakubu said.
Meanwhile, the Nigeria Police Force has assured residents of the state of adequate protection during Saturday’s elections.
The Inspector General of Police, Mr Solomon Arase, said he has deployed three Commissioners of Police to supervise security arrangements within the three senatorial districts of the state.
He also said that 6,000 conventional policemen and 14 Units of Police Mobile Force personnel would be deployed to complement the personnel of Rivers State Police Command during the election.
The Police Chief warned politicians in the state not to engage in acts that could constitute a breach of public peace in the course of the elections.
“The days when political power is attained through the rule of violence rather than the rule of law and democratic values are fading and our political actors, who believe in turning citizens to political thugs and cannon fodders, should allow such thoughts to fade henceforth or be prepared to face the wrath of justice,”Arase warned.
In recent times in the history of Rivers State, elections are held amidst widespread violence.
Reports say about 120 persons are killed every year in matters relating to elections in the state since 2014.
By Say Ramoni
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