Rivers Governorship Election: Security Beefed Up As Result Collation Begins Today

Police and other security agencies in Rivers state, southern Nigeria, have strengthened security in strategic locations ahead of the collation of the governorship and state assembly election results on Tuesday.

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Concise News learned from the spokesman for the Rivers State Police Command, Nnamdi Omoni, that security operatives had cordoned off the premises of the INEC Office on the Aba-Port Harcourt Road and the entire perimeter surroundings of the area.

It was also learned that the popular GRA and Waterlines Roads leading to the commission’s office were also shut down.

Nigeria’s electoral umpire, INEC, had on Wednesday, March 27, said resumption of collation and announcement of results of the March 9 Rivers governorship poll would hold between April 2 and 5.

The commission had on 10 March suspended electoral processes in the oil-rich state as a result of violence that marred the March 9 governorship poll.

Concise News understands that many officials of INEC were held hostage while electoral materials were reportedly seized.

Speaking ahead of Tuesday’s collation of results, the police spokesman, Omoni, said the state’s Commissioner of Police and the chairman of the Inter-Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security, Usman Belel, after a meeting, agreed to put in place adequate security measures to make the entire process smooth.

Omoni warned politicians, candidates and unauthorised persons to steer clear from the collation centre, saying “any person or group whose act or omission undermines the process will be arrested and prosecuted in accordance with the Electoral Act.”

Governor Nyesom Wike, who is the candidate of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), and candidate of the African Action Congress (AAC)Awara Biokpomabo, are the front runners in the race for the highest office in one of Nigeria’s oil-producing states.