The Police Service Commission, PSC, has explained why thugs were able to disrupt last weekend’s elections in Kogi and Bayelsa states, saying that it was because police officers were stretched beyond capacity.
The PSC said officers deployed for the exercise were professional in their conduct, dismissing the alarms raised from different quarters that the police worked in collusion with thugs for financial reward.
The spokesperson of the commission, Ikechukwu Ani said in a statement Monday that “the activities of illegal armed men over stretched the capacity of these officers to protect the voters and the electoral materials.”
The PSC said it deployed officials to monitor police conduct in both states on Saturday, during which it covered five out of six senatorial districts that make up the two states.
The police said 66,241 officers were deployed for the exercise in Kogi and Bayelsa.
“The interim report of the commission indicates that the police were very professional despite numerous challenges in the two states.
“The strong monitoring team of the commission to the two states observed the over proliferation of illegal weapons, inadequate logistics and challenging terrains as militating factors,” Mr Ani said.
The commission urged the police to take urgent steps to recover arms in possession of thugs in both states in the aftermath of the election.
“The commission calls on the leadership of the security agencies to immediately take steps to mop up these arms to safe guard the nation’s democracy,” the statement said.
Mr Ani said the PSC received 31 calls on its hotlines on Election Day, and most of them were complaints bordering on ballot box theft by thugs.