Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri, has condoled with the Inspector General of Police, Mr. Mohammed Adamu, over the loss of some of the force’s personnel that drowned while escorting voting materials for last Saturday’s senatorial bye-election in the state.
The boat conveying the policemen was said to have capsized on its way to Oporoma, the headquarters of Southern Ijaw Local Government Area.
However, Security sources told Vanguard on Sunday that 11 policemen were on board the ill-fated boat, in which five were rescued while six others drowned.
Diri, who also condoled with the families of the deceased policemen, said in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Daniel Alabrah, that their sudden demise while on national duty was very painful.
While describing the incident as unfortunate, he prayed to God to give the police boss and the families of the policemen the strength to bear the great loss.
The governor, however, commended the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for the smooth and fast process it put in place for the election.
Diri, who voted at his hometown in Sampou Ward 7 Unit 4 accompanied by his wife, Gloria Diri, said INEC’s decision of having accreditation and voting simultaneously saved time and energy.
“The process was faster and even more smooth. The card reader identified me as soon as my voter’s card was slotted in.
“So I can describe the process as smooth, fast, and peaceful. Certainly, the simultaneous accreditation and voting enhanced the process rather than waiting for hours before coming back to vote. I think this decision of taking them at the same time is far better than what we used to do,” he said.
On the alleged hijack of election materials in Agbere community in Sagbama Ward One, Senator Diri described the act as the handiwork of mischief-maker’s bent on discrediting the electoral process.
The governor called on Bayelsans not to give a negative image about the state, saying that it is a state with people of integrity that work hard to earn a living.
While expressing the optimism that his party would clinch victory judging by the pedigree and capacity of its candidates for the Bayelsa West and Central senatorial districts, Diri described the National Assembly as a place for serious-minded persons and not for jokers.
“We fielded quality candidates and you can see the difference between the PDP candidates and the others. The Senate is not a place for jokers. The Senate is not a place for school dropouts or people who were dismissed from service.
“The Senate is a place of people with integrity, for those who can comprehend, for those who will understand, for those who can bring an argument on the floor that would be able to convince and sway their colleagues. Having been a member of the National Assembly, I know that it takes that pedigree for you to be in the Senate.”