Tight Security as Bayelsa Votes


By Nseobong Okon-Ekong

As the people of Bayelsa state vote Saturday in a decisive governorship election, major roads around the city of Yenagoa, capital of the state witnesses expected heavy presence of security personnel who have blocked strategic locations.

The security agents were noticed around Julius Berger Junction, which spots the only Flyover Bridge in Bayelsa, Tombia Roundabout and Mbiama Junction, the mouth of the road into Yenogoa, from the East-West Road. They stopped vehicles and politely demanded to know their destination.

One of the distinct features observable in the security arrangement is that each service, the army, police and FRSC maintained a separate spot, not interacting at all.

The Nigerian Army personnel who were mainly stationed on the major roads had a good number of female soldiers. They were all armed.

Bayelsa State is notorious for violence that disrupts electoral processes. Tension heightens and the polity becomes precarious as a major elections approaches.

Incidents of violence including death were recorded during the primary and enlightenment rallies of the political parties.

With eight local governments, the security challenge is made more precarious by the topography of Bayelsa, which is made of swamps, creeks and over 70 percent water.