The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) said on Wednesday that it had secured the services of some helicopters to deliver sensitive materials to difficult terrains in Bayelsa State as part of its preparations for the November 16 governorship election.
Briefing journalists in Yenagoa, the state capital, the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Monday Udoh also dismissed reports that the commission under his watch in the state was colluding with the All Progressives Congress (APC) to rig the poll.
Udoh observed that Bayelsa being about 75 per cent water had always been a very difficult state to conduct election especially during the movement of materials and election personnel.
He said: “We are tackling insecurity and on 1st of November, I am going to be in Abuja with the IGP and other top ranks of the military and other security agencies to also talk more about the security, how we are going to escort our materials to where they are supposed to be.
“We have enlisted the use of helicopters so that where we used to have so much problem or maybe so much time running on the sea, we have to airlift them to where they should be”.
The REC stressed that INEC Bayelsa was seriously working towards conducting a free, fair, credible and peaceful election governorship election on November 16.
He insisted that there was no truth in the report that he conspired with the Vice-Chancellor, Federal University, Otuoke to enlist APC members as supervisory officers (SPOs) describing it as fake news.
“We shall remain focused on achieving our mandate. We shall not be distracted by fake and false news being peddled against my humble self and INEC Bayelsa State.
“I want to state frantically, I have no contact with the Acting DVC of Otuoke either to recruit or to receive a list from him. So it is completely false and a fragment of the imagination of the authors of such news”, he said.
He said the commission in collaboration with the Nigeria Navy commenced the profiling of all the marine boat owners contracted to convey the non-sensitive materials election to the various polling units in all the communities across the riverine areas of the state.
Udoh said he was able to convince the national commission to allow the election in Bayelsa run for three following the difficult terrain of the state.
He said: “Now, over one month to the election, we have concluded arrangements with boat owners and the supply of buses to the point that Navy is profiling them. Profiling means that we want to know the owners of the boats and the identities of their drivers.
“We have trained our adhoc staff about two weeks ahead of the election. Apart from that we have giving them copies of the training so that even when they go home, they can train themselves.
“INEC wants this election to be exemplary in a way that it is going to act as a catalyst for the 2023 general election”.