Rivers LG Polls: Youths prefer football

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Some youths in Port Harcourt, Rivers, took to football on Saturday in defiance to Police order on such activities due to local government polls holding on the day across the state.

The youths, most of who are above 18 years, converted some major streets in the city into football pitches, and engaged in the game while the election was going on.

Some of them told News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that whether they voted or not, the winners had already been selected.

One of them, who decline to identify himself, said “this election is just for formality; the only party that will win landslide is PDP, so, why bother going to vote.

”We want to use this opportunity to do our own exercise since the roads are fairly free of vehicles.”

It was observed that restriction on movement order during the period of the election was also violated by some commercial motorcyclists, who operated freely, doing brisk business.

At Oyigbo, one motorcyclist, who pleaded anonymity, told NAN that he took the risk of defying the order in order to make money for his family.

”Since there was no disturbance by the security agencies and there are passengers, I needed to make money to take care of my family.

”Since 6 a.m. to now (12.20 p.m.), I have made up to N8, 000 which l would not have made on a normal day within the same period,” he said.

Another operator, Mr David Udo, spotted in Ireibe, Obio Akpor Local Government Area, said, “I will not leave my source of daily bread because of election that does not concern me directly.”

The Police Command in the state had banned vehicular movements and activities other than the elections, between 7 a.m. and 4 p.m. to ensure free, fair and credible exercise.

The command warned that it would arrest and prosecuted offenders.

Contacted on the violations, Police Spokesman, DSP Nnamdi Omoni, said “the Commissioner of Police was clear on the movement restriction’’, and that anybody caught violating the order would be arrested and prosecuted.

The election exercise was peaceful across the state although some polling units commenced polling as late as 12 noon instead of 8 a.m.

The exercise recorded an average turnout of voters even with the absence of the All Progressives Congress (APC) which pulled out due to its suit against the election. (NAN)

Biola Lawal

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