The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has warned that it will not count votes in any polling unit where violence occurs during Saturday’s governorship election in Bayelsa.
INEC Chairman Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, who announced this at a stakeholders meeting in Yenagoa, said the commission would deploy the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) to all polling units for the election.
“BVAS has been customised for INEC,” Yakubu said, adding that “any BVAS you see without INEC details cannot be from INEC.”
He also stated that the result sheets would be signed at the polling units and that “where there is violence, it will be zero; we will not return to that polling unit to conduct the election.”
Yakubu further disclosed that INEC had recruited and trained all categories of ad hoc staff for the election and that all non-sensitive materials had been distributed to the eight local government area offices in the state.
“We have made arrangements for the transportation of personnel and materials to ensure that the polling unit opens on schedule on election day,” he added.
He assured stakeholders of INEC’s commitment to conducting a free, fair, and credible election.
Meanwhile, the Bayelsa State Commissioner of Police, Mr Tolani Alausa, has assured the public that the police are fully prepared to ensure a peaceful election.
Alausa, who was represented by the Deputy Commissioner of Police in Charge of Operations, Mr Ijamah Daniel, said the force would deploy enough personnel for the election.
“In every polling unit, we are going to deploy three to six personnel,” he said, adding that the Inspector-General of Police had deployed 21 units of mobile police force, including tactical units like the special force, the counter-terrorism unit, and the special protection unit.
He urged all citizens to be law-abiding, warning that the police were prepared to respond to any challenges that might arise.