Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa
There is increasingly concern in diplomatic circles over the conduct of a credible election and threat of violence as the country gradually inches towards the 2019 elections.
The diplomats from European countries are also worried over the spate of killings and violence in some parts of the country including Plateau, Benue and Taraba and Zamfara states.
Irish Ambassador to Nigeria, Sir Sean Hoy, made this known, in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State during a call on the Deputy Governor Rear Admiral John Jonah (rtd) at the Government House.
The envoy explained that though cases of violence could not be ruled out in the world, the recent cases of killings and violence in some parts of Nigeria is worrisome.
He, however, said that the condolence visit of President Muhammad Buhari to Plateau state has reassured diplomats that the Nigerian government was on top of the security situation.
Said he, “Our concern is for the election to be free and fair and for voters and the Nigerian people to accept the result. Our job is to make the election to be free and fair.
“And for the people to accept it and the possibility of violence will be reduced. But if politicians do not accept the result and communities do not accept the result, and then we have a situation on our hands.
“Our role is to provide credible monitoring and write our reports. The international communities, particularly the European Union, are concerned about the killings in the country and also the President of Nigerian has shown concern.
“I was pleased that President Muhammad Buhari visit Plateau state. We agreed that there would always be violence in the world. But it is our responsibility, as leaders, to do what we can to reduce it and to look at the causes of violence.
“I think most Nigerians live peacefully. And when such peace is threatened, it is very bad. Now we are seeing, insecurity and other conflicts. And we think those are caused by bandits.
“I don’t believe that the peace loving people of Nigeria are involved in the violence along ethnic and religious grounds.
The deputy governor, however, said the prayer of political leaders in Nigeria is to have a violent free election in 2019.
He encouraged leaders of European not to only concentrate monitoring of election in South-South region but others parts of Nigerian to ensure the 2019 is free and fair.