A coalition of accredited election observers for the November 16 Governorship election in Bayelsa state has challenged voters in the state to put to shame doomsday politicians by ensuring that they come out to cast their votes and protect it against sponsored political thugs.
They made this known during the unveiling of the Observer Situation Room titled “Democracy Watch Nigeria and a Peace Walk sensitization” held in Yenagoa under the Centre for Credible Leadership and Citizen Awareness, called on the electorates in Bayelsa state.
The convener and Director-General of the Centre Dr. Nwambu Gabriel, said the call became necessary violent prone states during elections.
According to Dr. Gabriel Nwambu, though studies have shown that the manipulation of the electoral processes lead to the emergence of an unpopular candidate as it is done against the wish of the people, ”electoral violence have taken center stage of our electoral system. Sadly, electoral violence has been on the increase because politicians do not see occupation of public offices as a call to service but rather as an opportunity to amass wealth as much as possible. The level of violence in Bayelsa state elections has made it to be classified as a volatile state and it is embarrassing to Nigeria and a monumental and national shame.”
Also speaking, a member of the Situation Room, Mr. Ezenwa Nwagu, called on electorate in the state to disappoint those that have predicted doom for the state during the coming Governorship election, insisting that “when the politicians are allowed to buy their way into the office during election, the people will become useless and lack the respect of politicians. When you complain, they will not take you serious because you have been paid for your vote.”
The Flag Bearer of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Senator Douye Diri, who was the only candidate present at the event, was awarded as a symbol of peaceful poll by the coalition of observers.
He called on other party candidates to avail themselves the opportunity to use such forum to assure the people on their zero tolerance to issue of violence during elections.
Senator Diri however dismissed the tagging of Bayelsa as a state prone to violence during general elections,” As Bayelsa people, we are not violent but peace loving people. Though there are pockets of thugs out to intimidate the people during elections. The people of the State should witness and ensure that the votes during the election translate to the will of the people. The election should not be the will of A.K47 wielding thugs.” He said.