Good afternoon Gentlemen of the Press
I have the honour to invite you today to address you, on our level of preparedness for the 2019 General Elections.
As you are all aware, the 2019 General Elections will commence on Saturday 16/2/2019 with the Presidential and National Assembly Elections scheduled to take place that day.
In line with established tradition, it is important to address you on our level of preparedness for the Elections among other issues.
Recall that the 2019 Elections in recent time have been in the front burner in all National discourse, thereby creating room for extensive and intensive preparations ahead of time.
Today, I am pleased to tell you that the much awaited time is right here with us.
In the build up to the Elections, several Meetings, Seminars, Workshops, Training /Retraining of Security Personnel were held at different times, Chief among which is the Inter-Agency Consultative Committee on Elections Security (ICCES) saddled with the responsibility to provide adequate Security before, during and after the Elections.
The Police as the lead Agency in the Internal Security architecture on Election duties has been on the frontline towards, ensuring the full realization of this onerous task.
Commissioners of Police at the Command levels are the heads of the Committee, assisted by the INEC Resident Electoral Commissioners of each State.
Here in the State, we have had robust Inter-Agency collaborations, and fantastic synergies culminating in holding Meetings and Sessions with critical stakeholders at the end of which a consensus was reached by all the Stake-holders, where it was unanimously agreed that, the narrative must change in Rivers Elections. There will be a radical departure from the past Elections, usually characterized by violence.
Together, we shall get it right this time. Rivers State will outlive the Elections. On our part, we promise to be neutral, apolitical, and professional and to provide level playing fields for all the Political Parties to exercise their franchise.
We have deployed fifteen thousand five hundred and forty four (15,544) officers and men to be complemented by other sister security Agencies. With the massive deployments made so far, we are undoubtedly good to go, as far as this Election is concerned.
We promise to do everything humanly possible to entrench and bequeath
to the State, Elections that will be free, fair, credible and devoid of violence.
I want to specially appeal to all and sundry, the media inclusive, to join us, as we strive to achieve this lofty objective, believing that together we can make a positive difference
RESTRICTION OF MOVEMENT ON THE ELECTION DAY
May I also seize this opportunity to inform the general public and indeed residents of the State, that after due consultations with relevant stake-holders superintending and overseeing the forthcoming Elections, the following Restriction Orders are hereby made to wit:
That there will be total Restriction of Movement of persons and vehicles on both land and waterways, between the hours of 12 midnight on Friday 15/2/2019 and 4pm on Saturday 16/2/2019.
That Very Import Personalities (VIPs) and Politicians are barred from going to any voting centre with their security details or orderlies. They are also warned to desist from moving from one place to another on the Election Day, as provided by the Electoral Act.
Movement is strictly restricted from places of abode to the voting centres and back.
All Entry and Exit points will be blocked and movement will not be allowed in and out of the State until the Elections are over.
No canopies should be erected close to any Polling Unit by food vendors or any commercial activities carried out close to any Polling unit.
The Police and other Security Agencies will be moving round to ensure that there is strict compliance to this Order and to arrest and prosecute violators.
Once again, let me on behalf of the Officers and Men of the Rivers State Command, as well as members of the Inter-Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security (ICCES), thank you for your time and hope that the Information shared with you today, will be well spread to all nooks and cranny of the State and that, there will be religious adherence to the Prohibition Order, as same is intended to provide a conducive atmosphere for free, fair, credible and violence free Elections that will stand the test of time.
Thanks and God bless.
CP USMAN A. BELEL
COMMISSIONER OF POLICE
RIVERS STATE COMMAND