THE Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has said that the commission had not declared war in Bayelsa State but election for the people to elect their governor to run the affairs of the state in the next four years.
Resident Electoral Commissioner REC in-charge of Bayelsa State, Pastor Monday Tom stated this in Yenagoa, yesterday, against the backdrop of reports of violent clashes between supporters of the leading political parties and hate speeches at campaign grounds.
At a town hall meeting organised by Stakeholder Democracy Network, SDN, in collaboration with the United Nations Democracy Fund, UNDEF, on addressing electoral violence, fraud and low voter turnout ahead of the November 16 governorship election, the REC, while appealing to political gladiators in the state to rein in their supporters, said the commission does not want to record any death arising from the election.
The REC, who was represented by the Head of Election and Political Party Monitoring, EPM of INEC Bayelsa, Mr Chinedu Nwankwo, said: “INEC only declared election and not war in Bayelsa State and therefore, we don’t want to hear that people died as a result of the election and so much has been put in place by INEC because we want to make a difference in Bayelsa State.
We don’t want any inconclusive or rerun elections in Bayelsa State. “We are appealing to all stakeholders because INEC cannot make it all alone, therefore, we appeal to the populace of Bayelsa for their cooperation.
We have talked with the traditional rulers, religious leaders, youths and other stakeholders on the need for peaceful election because we are poised to change the narrative,” he said. In his remark, Project Officer of SDN, Mr Joseph Ekong, said the organisation in collaboration with UNDEF, was engaging critical stakeholders in the political process geared towards ensuring that the election is peaceful and credible.
Meanwhile, the PDP will hold its mega rally today at Ox Bow lake Pavilion, Yenagoa. Tagged: “Total consolidated prosperity, for our great state,” the rally will be chaired by the Governor of Bauchi State, Senator Bala Muhammed. Those expected are the Chief host, Governor Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa, With PDP National Chairman, Uche Secondus as special guest of honour, and, former President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, as Father of the day.
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