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Thugs mobilised ahead of Bayelsa, Kogi governorship elections – INEC claims

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The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has said thugs have already mobilized to spoil the activities of governor elections in the states of Kogi and Bayelsa.

Latest Nigeria newspaper report that Mahmood Yakubu, President of INEC, announced this on Friday while speaking at the quarterly meeting of the inter-agency advisory committee on electoral Security (ICCES) in Abuja.

He said: “There are already warning signs in the two states (which) are politically volatile. Our risk assessment that will be shared with the security agencies at this meeting has identified some critical points.

“We are also concerned that thugs have been mobilized inside and outside the states to influence the elections or interrupt the process on behalf of partisan sponsors.

“This requires a solid response before the elections, on election day, and during the process of gathering and reporting results.”

Latest Nigeria newspaper report that He said there must be a quick response from the security agencies to deal with the desperate acts of political actors to interrupt the elections and subvert the will of the electorate.

“If that happens, many Nigerians will blame the electoral arbitrator and the security agencies. We must continue to live up to this challenge.

“For the past seven months, we have been working assiduously to ensure that we hold credible elections. We cannot undermine the processes we have established so laboriously.

Latest Nigeria newspaper report that The security agencies have assured us that the activities of election day at the polling stations and the intercalation centers will not be interrupted by the events of the thugs or the thugs will be allowed to carry the result sheets or force our officers who return to make statements under duress.

“We are equally confident that security personnel will strictly adhere to standard operating guidelines and will decisively address the misconduct of their personnel in electoral service,” he said.