November Bayelsa Poll: Group cautions Sylva against violence

By Chris Udochukwu

Credible Elections Project, a non-governmental group with strong interest in a free and fair elections in Nigeria on Sunday called for a violence free governorship election in Bayelsa State come November 11, saying the State in the Niger Delta cannot afford to be engrossed in crisis due to individual interest.

The group called on candidates of all political parties participating in the exercise to be decorous in their acts and observe the provisions of electoral laws during their campaigns, stressing that there was no need to stoke crisis which wasn’t contemplated by the people of Bayelsa.

In a statement which was issued by the National Coordinator, Dr Fred Justin Adams and the Public Relations Officer of the group, Amina Ahmed Musa and made available to journalists in Abuja on Sunday, the group noted that it has been monitoring developments in Bayelsa State in past weeks, and found the utterances of the candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Timipreye Sylva, toxic to the tenets of democracy.

The group advised Sylva to see himself as a statesman having governed the State from 2007 to 2008 even as the people of Bayelsa expects a high level of comportment from him as he attempts to return to government house.

The statement noted that the provisions of the Electoral Act expected the isolated election to be conducted within the ambit of law, hence, the idea of “brimstone and fire threat”, does not arise for any reason.

According to the group, the Peoples Democratic Party and the All Progressives Congress have their strong presence in Bayelsa State and it rests on the candidates including other smaller parties to vigorously embark on issue based campaigns in a bid to convince electorate rather than contemplating violence which would not serve the people of Bayelsa any good.

Part of the statement read: “We have watched with utmost concerns the security risk utterances of some candidates of political parties contesting the governorship election in Bayelsa which are not in line with the spirit of democracy that require issue based campaigns.”

“We take exception to threats of fire and brimstone and other unwarranted threat under any guise by the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress. As a statesman, the expectation of Bayelsa people from Timipreye Sylva with regards to maintaining peace is high and so we expect him to refrain from uttering words that are capable of causing chaos in the State.”

Credible Elections Project warned that they would petition President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the Inspector General of Police, the National Security Adviser, the DSS and other Security agencies with clips of utterances of Timi Sylva or any other governorship candidate should they refused to refrained from attempting to stoke crisis before the election.

Timi Sylva is a former Minister of State for Petroleum in the ex-President Muhammadu Buhari administration.

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