Elections: Umahi orders arrest of fake observers, Journalists

Governor David Umahi of Ebonyi State

Governor David Umahi of Ebonyi state Friday ordered the arrest of any fake observer or journalists found loitering in polling units and other election zones during Saturday’s election.

The Governor gave the order during statewide broadcast and press conference preparatory to the polls.

Umahi maintained that after a joint empirical analysis of the events of the last election, he has absolved security agencies of any wrongdoing, adding that most of the lapses experienced were not attributable to them.

He commended them for their preparations so far toward ensuring a hitch-free election come Saturday.

While appealing to candidates, politicians, and their supporters to abide by the rules, he warned that fake security agencies, observers, journalists, and other purveyors of fake news would not be condoned during the elections.

“Security report has indicated that there are fake observers who are so desperate and have printed INEC tags. Our position is that every observer that has been accredited by INEC needs second accreditation by the Commissioner of Police.

“I have ordered the arrest of fake observers who fail to go through these processes. Emergency journalists also have a word from me: people also jump out, especially now that we have online media.

“I know there is a union for journalists in this State, and if you are not a member, you are not a journalist. There are visiting journalists who we may not know: such persons need extra accreditation from the chairman of NUJ in the State.

“You have to do that because of security threats. Anyone who parades himself in violation of these rules may risk arrest.”

Governor Umahi further warned INEC personnel and political players against any form of sharp practices capable of undermining the election, stressing that government would ensure full prosecution of offenders in line with the provisions of the Electoral Act.

The Governor urged all Ebonyi people as well as residents in the state to come out in greater numbers to freely cast their votes for the candidates of their choice, assuring that their safety has been fully guaranteed.

“The security chiefs have provided adequate security. We are therefore warning bandits, and for anyone in possession of an illegal gun, the President’s directive still re-echoes: anyone with illegal arms, that gun must be brought down,” he said.