The Department of State Services (DSS) has confirmed that politicians from the two leading political parties, the All Progressive Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Bayelsa State, have been placed under security watch and surveillance over movement of heavy arms ahead of the November 16 governorship election.
The State Director of DSS, Ishaku Yusuf made this known on Wednesday during the election seminar organized by the Nigerian Police Force led by the Assistant Inspector-General of Police (AIG), Zone 5, D.P. Yakadi for political party chairmen and other stakeholders in the state.
Yusuf said those under security watch were politicians that have been identified as having the capacity of instigating violence during elections in the state.
“On the issue of identification, those intending to perpetuate violence and other crimes during the forthcoming election have been put under security watch and their homes under surveillance,”
Yusuf, however, observed that the poor attitude and attendance of representatives of political parties to the security seminar showed the poor readiness of parties for the elections.
“Another worry I have for the election, is the fact that we have 45 political parties listed for the election but 10 is in attendance here. It shows the security agencies are more ready than the owners of the elections,”
Speaking during his lecture, Assistant Inspector-General of Police, Zone 5, Mr. D.P. Yakadi, identified various factors that could lead the coming elections into violence and advised critical stakeholders, including the Media, Political Parties and the INEC to step up preparations and work against corrupt tendencies before, during and after the elections.
Yakadi assured the stakeholders of the preparedness of the Zone under his watch for the election.
“Unemployment and poverty are some of the key factors that are responsible for election violence in Nigeria; another factor is get rich syndrome, loss of societal values compared to what was attainable in olden days; another factor is proliferation of fire arms, easy access and consumption of illicit drugs.
“We are here today to discuss with you how we can have free, fair and credible election on the 16 November, 2019. The increasing problem of violence in our politics today is a source of security concern.
“The stakeholders meeting organized by the Nigerian Police Force today is centred on the need to create a peaceful atmosphere before, during and after the forthcoming Bayelsa governorship election.
“INEC should ensure that Bayelsa governorship election meet and satisfy international best practices, they should regularly partner with the security agencies, and create a conducive environment for all stakeholders to ensure credible election in Bayelsa state.
“INEC management should show commitment to ensure that presiding officers, polling agents and other election officials are honest in discharging their duties, by understanding their rules in the election processes. INEC should ensure that adequate logistics and administrative processes are put in place before the day of the election to avoid delay as Bayelsa state is about 70% water,” he added.
In his speech, the Administrative Secretary of the INEC in Bayelsa State, Mr. Edwin Enabor, announced that the smart card readers to be used during the poll are undergoing charging, and assured that there would be no card reader failure during the poll.
Enabor, however, said in cases of card reader failure, over 2,500 card readers have been borrowed from River State.
Meanwhile, foreign envoys from the European Union and the United States of America (USA) have met separately with the flag bearers of the APC, Chief David Lyon and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Senator Douye Diri over the need for peaceful conduct of the Governorship election.