Molly Kilete, Abuja
The Police Service Commission (PSC) has commended the conduct of police personnel deployed to monitor the gubernatorial elections in Edo state.
It, however, decried the deployment of unarmed security personnel at voting units, saying it exposes the election to serious threats in some locations.
The Commission in a statement said its official deployed to monitor the elections in the State covered all the three senatorial zones and visited 132 polling units in nine Local Government Areas. It also said it received a total of 53 calls and 32 text messages on its three dedicated telephone numbers for the election.
The PSC statement reads:
‘The Police Service Commission says there was enough presence of Police and other security agencies at the governorship election in Edo state held Saturday, September 19th 2020. The Commission, however, noted that the continued deployment of unarmed security personnel at voting units exposed the election to serious threats in some locations.
‘The Commission covered the three Senatorial Zones and visited 132 polling units in nine local government Areas.
‘The Commission received 53 calls and 32 text messages to it’s three dedicated telephone numbers for the election.
‘There was an average of three policemen in several polling units while in many of the Units in Edo North, there was an average of seven to 10.
‘The policemen in the polling units visited were professional, courteous and arrived at their places of assignment in good time. They were, however, in some places, overwhelmed by voters who turned out in large numbers.
‘Most of the complaints received from callers were mainly on cases of vote-buying, snatching of ballot boxes in the face of the inability of the Police to offer any resistance and skeletal shooting incidences.
‘There were also complaints from some of the participating police officers who said they were yet to receive allowances for the election.
‘Meanwhile, there were massive security details along major roads and junctions in the state with strict enforcement of no vehicular movement.
‘The Commission commends DIG Olayele Oyabede who coordinated the security architecture of the election in Edo State for responding and intervening in several complaints referred to him by the Commission’s team.
‘DIG Oyebade led a strong team made up of two AIGs, Hosea Karma, and Shola Davis, Edo State Command CP, Johnson Kokumo with other visiting CPs Manning the Senatorial Zones.
‘The Commission also participated in the Election Day Situation Room and the CLEEN Foundation Election Security Call Centre.’