GOV DICKSON DECLARES FRIDAY 27TH OF MARCH, AS PUBLIC HOLIDAY FOR ELIGIBLE VOTERS TO TRAVEL TO REMOTE RIVERINE COMMUNITIES IN READINESS FOR ELECTIONS
Governor Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa State has declared tomorrow (Friday) a work free day to enable eligible voters travel to their communities in the remote riverine areas and other distant parts of the State in readiness for the Presidential and National Assembly polls on Saturday, 28thof March.
Governor Dickson, who made the declaration in a live broadcast to the people of the State, said the decision to declare a public holiday was to enable voters participate in the accreditation exercise at their registered polling centres, given the peculiar terrain of the state and appealed to the people to turn out en mass to cast their votes for their preferred candidates.
He explained that, the directive affects all offices in the state aside from financial institutions stating that government has constituted a special committee to ensure compliance in both public and private offices and enjoined employers to show some understanding.
The Governor said, it has become imperative to ensure a maximum voter turn out to re-elect President Goodluck Jonathan, stressing that, the task has become a matter of State interest, as the President is a son of Bayelsa and urged Bayelsans to vote massively, as they would have the rare privilege and honour to make history.
According to Governor Dickson, the government had earlier declared work free days and embarked on a PVC sensitization campaign in the State in an effort to get registered voters obtain their cards, pointing out that, such collective efforts had resulted in the State, being one of the highest percentage of PVC collection rates in the country.
While expressing appreciation to political parties and their candidates, traditional rulers, opinion leaders, youth and women leaders and activists for positively responding to the call for PVC collection, Governor Dickson called on the people to offer all necessary assistance to INEC, security agencies and corps members, who would be drafted to various polling centres to perform their electoral duties.
To forestall any form of violence on the election day, he directed that, no boat or river craft of any description would ply the state water ways for 2 nights, beginning from 7pm on Friday 27th of March to 8am on Saturday morning and Saturday 7pm to 8am on Sunday morning, apart from those on essential duties and emergency cases.
Governor Dickson also advised anyone planning to breach the peace during the period of the election to have a rethink, adding that, security agents have been put on red alert to deal decisively with any culprit.