Bayelsa, election, INEC
Independent National Electoral Commission

By Emem Idio, Yenegoa

The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, says the Commission has not declared war in Bayelsa State but the election for the people to elect their governor to run the affairs of the state in the next four years.

The Resident Electoral Commissioner  REC in charge of Bayelsa State, Pastor Monday Tom stated this in Yenagoa yesterday during against the backdrop of reports of violent clashes between supporters of the leading political parties and hate speeches at campaign grounds.

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At a Town Hall meeting in Yenagoa  organised by the 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 on their supporters, said the Commission do not want to record any deaths 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 the Commission is fully prepared to conduct election that will be acceptable to the people of Bayelsa State, stressing that the Commission is doing everything within its powers to change the narrative of inconclusive elections.

“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 Bayelsafor their cooperation.

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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, the Project Officer of SDN, Mr Joseph Ekong, said the organization in collaboration with the United Nations Democracy Fund (UNDEF) was engaging critical stakeholders in the political process geared towards ensuring that the election is peaceful and credible, adding that organization has carried out sensitization programs in twenty-seven communities in Ogbia, Sagbama and Southern Ijaw Local Government Areas.

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