Bishop Matthew Kukah
…INEC, security agency should have signed too – Dickson
By Emem Idio
AS part of efforts to ensure that Saturday’s governorship election is violence-free, the National Peace Committee, NPC, and the Niger Delta Dialogue, NDD, yesterday, got political parties and their candidates to sign an undertaking to take proactive measures towards a conducive environment for the poll.
This is coming barely four days after a similar accord was signed by chairmen of political parties and candidates, which was witnessed by the National Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Prof Mahmood Yakubu, and the Inspector General of Police, IGP, Mohammed Adamu, in Yenagoa, the state capital.
In their separate remarks, Convener of the National Peace Committee, NPC, Bishop Matthew Kukah, and Convener of the Niger Delta Dialogue, NDD, Dr Judith Asuni, enjoined all stakeholders in the political process to imbibe the spirit of peace, as no one’s political ambition was worth anyone’s blood, stressing that the objective of the peace initiative was to make Bayelsa a peaceful and great state.
Kukah said: “I want to enjoin you all that you all imbibe the spirit that only the living can participate in politics, only the living can enjoy the dividends of democracy and as we continue with this election the dividends of democracy and the idea behind the cycle and the timetable is so that we will all have the opportunity to imbibe what we call the political culture, that is an attitude that goes with politics.”
Of the 45 parties taking part in the election 26 including the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, signed the Peace Accord. The Convener of NDD, Dr Asuni, said other parties and candidates will sign the undertaking before the Saturday’s election.
INEC, security agencies should ‘ve been part of accord – Dickson
Speaking at the meeting, Governor Seriake Dickson said it was not enough for only political parties and candidates to commit to peaceful elections, pointing out that state institutions including INEC and the security agencies ought to have been part of the peace initiative
“A peaceful Bayelsa is not possible without a peaceful credible elections and in that context, I was wondering why only the political parties and candidates had to sign this lofty undertaking, why not INEC? why not the Resident Electoral Commissioner,REC? Why not a representative of the INEC Chairman? Why not the security agencies and why not the Nigerian military? Because our experience have shown that our people are not the problems, our people very often are victims of electoral brigandage and state-sponsored terrorism,” he said.
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Earlier, the Resident Electoral Commissioner, REC, in-charge of Bayelsa State, Pastor Monday Tom, assured the people that INEC has done all that is required towards a successful election, adding that of 14 outlined activities, it has done 12, and ”what remains is two and one is on going right now. We have materials and they have been barged a long time ago to the 2,244 polling units in Bayelsa state. As I speak, those materials are leaving Bayelsa State office for the respectful Registration Area Centres, RACs. This RACs have been activated since a week ago.”