Foremost Ijaw national leader and Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF), Chief Edwin Clark, has urged all the sons and daughters of Bayelsa state to accept the outcome of yesterday’s ( Saturday) election to collectively move the state forward.
More importantly, he called on the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC to remain unbiased in the conduct of the election, just as he charged the security agencies to demonstrate professionalism and detachment in the discharge of their duties before, during and after the election.
“Results announced must be a true reflection of the votes of the people of Bayelsa State”, he appealed.
The former Federal Commissioner of Information, who stated this in a press statement made available to newsmen in Warri yesterday, said the current tension prevalent in the state should be discouraged as it would further divide the people in achieving their developmental goal.
He admonished them to see democracy as a free will to belong to any political group of their choice and hold divergent views on issues based on their sentiments and should not be taken as a ‘do or die’ affair among fellow kinsmen.
According to him, “I am appealing to the people of Bayelsa State to shun every act of violence, they should go out and vote peacefully, according to their conscience, without been coerced or intimidated.
“We don’t want violence. The election is not war; it is not a matter of life or death. That the present tension and killings in the State are not in the interest of the Ijaw people. Bayelsa is a miniature nation of all the Ijaws.
“Bayelsa State does not belong to any individual, so people should not behave as if the State is their personal property, and nobody should act as it were whatever he says is final.
“Politicians and their supporters should not destabilize the state for their political benefits. PANDEF is suing for peace.
“We cannot be killing our people because of the personal interest of individuals. Ijaw people are the same, we are one. And Ijaw people have always been very democratic and republican in their attitude.
“For instance, the Late Harold Dappa-Biriye and his father, contested an election, and the son won; it did not stop them from being father and son.
“The unfolding events are appalling but I am happy that the election will hold, I, therefore, implore all the leaders of the political parties in the contest to understand that the State comes before every other person.
“They should know that without Bayelsa State they won’t exist and as such, they should consider Bayelsa interest first before their personal interests.