Kingsley Nwezeh in Abuja
The Police Service Commission (PSC) has decried the proliferation of arms in the Kogi and Bayelsa gubernatorial elections held on Saturday.
The commission, in assessing the performance of the police during the election, said policemen were overwhelmed.
In its interim report issued after monitoring the performance of police personnel assigned for the election, PSC said the police were professional despite numerous challenges in the two states.
“The strong monitoring team of the commission to the two states observed the over proliferation of illegal weapons, inadequate logistics and challenging terrains as militating factors”, it said, while calling on the leadership of security agencies to mop up arms in the two states.
The statement signed by the Spokesman of the Commision, Ikechukwu Ani, said it received 31 distress calls to its advertised dedicated telephone numbers.
“Most of the complaints were on snatching of ballot boxes and indiscriminate shootings. There were also complaints on other election malpractices such as vote buying and multiple thump printing,” it said.
Ani said “the commission monitored the conduct of police officers on election duties in Bayelsa and Kogi States on Saturday, November 16, 2019 and observed that the Police were professional in their conduct during the elections, while the activities of illegal armed men over-stretched the capacity of these officers to protect the voters and the electoral materials”.
It said that commission’s monitoring team also observed that the Police were early at voting centres and had adequate presence in most places.
The commission covered the three Senatorial districts in Kogi State and two in Bayelsa states, Bayelsa Central and Bayelsa East.
PSC leader of delegation and Commissioner in the commission, Austine Braimoh, said the commission will continue to hold the Police accountable for its actions or inactions.
On the Bayelsa and Kogi states Governorship election, PSC said the conduct of the police was above average.
“The commission calls on the leadership of the security agencies to immediately take steps to mop up these arms to safeguard the nation’s democracy”, it said.