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Wednesday, November 6

Kogi/Bayelsa guber: Group urges security agencies to investigate stockpile of arms, PVC trading

Ahead of the November 16 gubernatorial polls in Kogi and Bayelsa states, Yiaga Africa, has raised the alarm of a proliferation of and stockpile of small arms and ammunition, signposting an early warning indication that violence might mar the election in the two states.

The observer group stated this in their second observation report on the two elections, calling on security agencies to act quickly to avert threat to the polls.

Citing reported clashes between supporters of political parties in Ankpa LGA in Kogi State, Yiaga noted that physical and verbal attacks have also been reported in Southern Ijaw, Yenagoa, Brass, Nembe and Sagbama in Bayelsa State and Kabba/Bunu in Kogi State.

The group also raised alarm on recruitment of thugs by political parties, warning of breach of the peace.

The report indicated a “possible threat to the peaceful conduct of the elections with the observation of the presence of small arms and weapons in some LGAs. LTOs identified a community called Okabb in Ankpa LGA being used for the storage of ammunition and the recruitment of thugs. Though the ammunition was discovered to have been stored prior to the 2019 general election.

“Other reports of recruitment of political thugs were from communities in Yenagoa and Sagbama LGA in Bayelsa State and in Okehi and Idah in Kogi State,” Yiaga stated.

The group also reported widespread violation of electoral laws, among them open trading of PVCs and details of citizens with voter cards in Ankpa, Yenegoa and other locations where political parties were said to be moving from house to house to procure the details with as much as N500 and N1000 advance payment.

Yiaga called on security agencies, especially the police, to investigate and manage the report of recruitment of thugs and stockpiling of arms to avoid an outbreak of violence in the coming elections.

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