By Christian Ogbonna
#TrackNigeria: The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Bayelsa has assured women in the state of adequate protection before, during and after the elections.
The commission said it was partnering the police and other stakeholders in Bayelsa to achieve violence-free polls.
Dr Cyril Omoregbe, the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in the state, made the promise on Wednesday in Yenogoa at a one-day seminar on “Mitigation of Electoral Violence Against Women.”
He said that the commission remained committed to political gender equality.
Omoregbe, represented by INEC Administrative Secretary, Mr Leberi Sampson, said that the programme was to sensitise women on steps and ways to curtail violence against them and their activities during the elections.
“The programme will be a guide to the women when they are out during the elections; they will know what to do and how to do it and what not to do during the period.
“The women should go out to vote; they should not be afraid because INEC is committed to violence-free polls, committed to free and fair elections and are gender friendly.
Mr Amimu Pai, the Bayelsa Commissioner of Police, warned perpetrators of such electoral violence to steer clear in the interest of free and fair elections.
Pai, represented by Dr Rita Abbey, DPO, Ekeki Division, assured women of maximum security before, during and after elections.
“Police will not tolerate any form of violence and I must assure the women that the police are ready to protect lives and property in Bayelsa because that is our major duty.
“Officers and men will be posted to every nook and cranny of Baylesa during the elections,” the CP said.
Dise Ogbise, the Representative of Bayelsa Chapter of Women in Peace and Security Network, commended INEC for putting up the programme.
“Yes, it will help the women to exercise their rights in the elections. The women should be bold and they must collect their PVCs in order to cast their votes,” she advised. (NAN)