The Nigerian Police have vowed to end the era of election violence in Rivers State by ensuring the 2019 elections are violence-free in the state.
Omoni Nnamdi, the spokesperson for the police in the state, in a media interview, stressed that the bloody election narrative in the state must change.
“Election must be peaceful this time around. said
“We are good to go,”he said.
Nnamdi said 15,544 police officers, including from the special protection unit and counter terrorism unit, supported by sister security and military bodies, have been deployed for the polls in Rivers.
The state has a total of 4,442 polling units and 2,424 polling points.
He said the teams for the local government areas outside Port Harcourt, the state capital, were deployed two days ago “to both the land and water areas.”
“We have put enough in place,” he assured, hinting at collaborations with community leaders, training of personnel and public sensitisation.
“There has been enough of sensitisation and appeals for peaceful conduct and all that has gone down well with the target audience.”
Previous general and re-run elections in Rivers have been marred by widespread violence and were widely dismissed as a sham by observers.
But, this time, as the elections start on Saturday, the have police vowed to change the narrative, assuring of a peaceful exercise.
Nnamdi also described the protest by some supporters of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state on Thursday, threatening to disrupt the elections as “just a protest” and assured the threat would amount to nothing.
“Some hoodlums wanted to hijack the peaceful protest. But nobody can disrupt the elections. There is no cause for alarm.”
Except for the position of the president, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), which rules the state, will be in the elections without a challenge from its main rival, the APC.
The APC is not allowed to field candidates for other categories of elections because of a court order following internal crisis between actors in the camps of Rotimi Amaechi and his erstwhile ally, Senator Magnus Abe.