By Amgbare Ekaunkumo,Yenagoa
As political parties submit names of candidates ahead of November 16,2019 gubernatorial election in Bayelsa state, the Electoral Institute (TEI) in collaboration with Independent National Electoral Commission, (INEC) has began training Security Personnel in ensuring violence free election across the state.
Speaking on a one day workshop with the theme. “Election Security Personnel Training of Trainers for 2019 Election in Bayelsa”, the director general,Mr.Sa’ad Umar Idris said for elections in Nigeria to be adjudged free,fair and credible in Nigeria,it involves the collective efforts of Election Management Body and Security Agencies.
The Director-General, represented by a Director of the Institute, Mr Ifeanyi Agu, said the training is to equip participants with requisite skills and knowledge to discharge their assigned task effectively without favouring any political party.
He said: “Security is critical in the protection of electoral personnel, location and processes; in ensuring that voters exercises their civil duties without fear or hindrances.
“Creating a level playing ground for all political parties and candidates to canvass for support; in protecting domestic and foreign observers while discharging their duties,” he said.
In his speech, the Chairman of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, said the Commission has constantly engage security agencies in preparations for the 2015 General Elections, State Governorship election and lately 2019 General Elections.
He said the Commission considers security as a critical and key component of the electoral process and one of the indices for ensuring the credibility of elections.
Prof. Yakubu, represented by the Resident Electoral Commissioner, in charge of Bayelsa, Pastor Monday Udoh, said the manifest benefit derived from the numerous consultations with Inter-Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security (ICCES) cannot be over emphasized.
He said: “The objective being to ensure a more efficient and hitch-free electoral service delivery in the conduct of elections.
“You may also recall that the Commission signed Memorandum Of Understanding (MOU) with International Idea and African Union on the deployment of Electoral Risk Management (ERM),” he said.
The Commissioner of Police, in Bayelsa Mr John Anozie, said the election in Bayelsa will be free and fair.
He promised to secure lives and property during and after the conduct of the governorship elections come November 16.
Represented by the Deputy Commissioner of Police, in charge of Operations Mr Jude Kolawole, assured the electorate of their safety in the day of the elections.
Meanwhile,the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says some of those that emerged as candidates for the Bayelsa and Kogi governorship elections are below the required age.
Festus Okoye, chairman, INEC information and voter education committee, said this in a statement on Thursday.
The 1999 constitution pegs the required age for governorship position at 35.
But Okoye said the commission discovered the list of successful candidates in the primary elections featured names of individuals who are below the age of 30.
“The Commission has observed from a preliminary review of the list and personal particulars submitted by the political parties that some of the Governorship and Deputy-Governorship candidates are below the minimum age prescribed by the Constitution for these positions,” he said