Three policemen drown in Bayelsa during bye-election


Tragedy struck last weekend in Bayelsa State during some bye-elections as three policemen drowned in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area (SILGA).

This was as voters went to the polls to elect representatives to the Upper Chamber of the National Assembly in Central and West Senatorial Districts.

The policemen who are yet to be identified were on their way to SILGA after deployment on Friday when the speedboat in which they traveling capsized midstream at Oporoma, according to Police Public Relations Officer, Asinim Butswat.

Meanwhile, voting on Saturday was generally peaceful across the two senatorial districts despite some skirmishes at Agbere and Agoro communities in Sagbama Local Government Area and Opolo in Yenagoa Local Government Area.

Governor Douye Diri who voted at Unit 4, Ward 6, Sampou, his country home in Kolokuma/Opokuma Local Government Area, expressed confidence that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidates would do well in the bye-election.

Diri said the Upper Chamber is not for jokers, but people with integrity and understanding who would bring their experience to bear in the Senate and make the state proud.

The Deputy Governor, Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo who voted at Unit 6, Ward 4, Ofoni in Sagbama Local Government Area (SALGA), praised the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for measures taken to sanitise the conduct of elections in the country.

Ewhrudjakpo said INEC’s innovation in easing the voting process and management of result sheets would promote transparency and restore the confidence of the people on the body.

At Toru-Orua in SALGA, former Governor Henry Seriake Dickson, PDP flag bearer in Bayelsa West Senatorial District, described the bye-election as peaceful and called on security agents and INEC to sustain vigilance to prevent people with dubious intent from distorting the process.

Although the police had announced vehicular restriction, people generally went about their businesses due low awareness campaigns about the bye-election particularly in Yenagoa, the state capital and nearby communities.

As at the time of filing this report, BusinessDay gathered that results had started trickling in though it would still take more time for results from places like Koluama, Agge and other communities on the Atlantic coast to get to the collation centres.

Yenagoa is the collation centre for Central Senatorial District while Sagbama is the collation centre for West Senatorial District.