The Bayelsa State Police Command has confirmed the death of six officers on bye-election duty in the state.
The Commissioner of Police, Mike Okoli, said this in an interview with journalists at the command headquarters in Yenagoa while giving an update on the incident.
One of the speedboats conveying policemen deployed for the polls in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of Bayelsa Central senatorial district was said to have capsized and resulted in the drowning of six officers.
Reports on the incident, which occurred on the eve of Saturday’s exercise in Bayelsa Central and West, had earlier indicated that three policemen died.
But Okoli, while giving an update, said that 11 policemen were on board the ill-fated speedboat, but six of them were missing while five were rescued.
Expressing sadness over the incident, he said, “The command is still searching for the body of the missing six policemen. They were travelling from Yenagoa to Southern Ijaw for election duty before the boat capsized at Oporoma (headquarters of the LGA).
“They are brave, dedicated and disciplined officers of the Nigeria Police Force that have paid the ultimate price while on a national assignment.”
Meanwhile, the Bayelsa State Governor, Douye Diri, has sent his condolences to the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, over the loss of the deceased officers on bye-election duty in the state.
Diri said in a statement on Sunday by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Daniel Alabrah, that he was deeply saddened by the incident.
He said, “Their sudden demise while on national duty is very painful. It is a very unfortunate incident, and we pray God to give the IG and the families of the policemen the strength to bear the great loss.”