The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has assured voters of their safety and security during the forthcoming 2019 general election in Rivers State.
Speaking to The Tide during the one-day stakeholders’ meeting tagged: “State Level Interactive Forum With Critical Stakeholders,” in Port Harcourt, yesterday, the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Mr Obot Effanga stated that the safety and security of voters and all election materials was paramount to the commission at all times, while calling on all stakeholders to raise their voices and demand that security is taken seriously in the state.
According to the REC, “We must note that all has not been smooth with some of the activities we carried out. We have had pockets of resistance to our work by criminal elements and violent people with political interest. Our personnel were threatened by hoodlums who insisted on personal gratification before we can carry out our work,” Effanga said.
He further reassured the populace of their safety, saying that arrangements were in top gear to ensure maximum security.
In addition, Effanga warned political parties and their candidates to desist from arming their supporters with either weapons or inciting them to violent conducts.
He stressed that the commission’s desire was to ensure that the 2019 General Election was free, fair, transparent, inclusive, credible, peaceful and violence-free in Rivers State.
On his part, the Executive Officer of the Nigerian Navy Shipyard (NNS), Pathfinder, Navy Captain Samuel Garba also reiterated the preparedness of the Navy in ensuring that the election meets the expectations of Nigerians.
Garba pleaded for the support of the public, and urged the people to call security personnel in case of any challenges they might encounter during the elections.
Also speaking, the state Coordinator, National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), Mr Chinwendu Chukwu stated the corps members that would be deployed to various polling units were on national service, and appealed for support to ensure their safety and security throughout the period of the election.
The NYSC boss appealed to the political parties, candidates and their supporters to ensure that their agents do their jobs, cautioning that no NYSC member should be blamed for the inability of party agents to give situation reports of the election.
Susan Serekara-Nwikhana & Femi Akinyemi