The Bayelsa State chapter of the Civil Liberties Organisation (CLO) is calling on the Inspector General of Police, IGP Mohammed Adamu to investigate the circumstances that led to the drowning of six policemen, while on duty during last Saturday’s senatorial by-elections in Bayelsa State. The Chairman of the state chapter of the organisation, Nengi James said that the call became necessary as the sad incident could have been averted if adequate safety measures were put in place by the authorities.
Addressing newsmen yesterday in Yenagoa, the state capital, he hinted that reliable information at the disposal of the CLO indicates that the policemen were not adequately kitted with life jackets and other safety gears needed for marine transportation before embarking on the journey. Nengi, who stated further that the policemen were conveyed to their different places of election assignment in the night, in clear violation of the standard marine safety rules and operational guidelines, noted: “As a civil society group, we are deeply saddened with the turnout of events that led to the ill-fated boat mishap that claimed the lives of six policemen in Bayelsa State during the just-concluded senatorial by-election.
“Why we call for adequate compensation for the families of the deceased policemen by the state government and the police authorities, we want to also call on the IGP to investigate the circumstances that led to that ugly incident in order to forestall future occurrence. “Information at our disposal has it that standard marine rules and regulations were not adhered to in the course of conveying the policemen to their respective places of assignment. For instance, the policemen were not fully kitted with life jackets which would have helped to prevent death or reduced casualties, while conveying the policemen in the night is also a clear violation of marine regulations.”