Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa
Former President Goodluck Jonathan has declared that Bayelsans would reject any governorship candidate that allows violence during the election.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had fixed November 16 for the governorship election in the state.
Jonathan who spoke in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State capital as special guest of honour at a leadership workshop/ conference on “Credible Governorship Election and Good Governance,” in Bayelsa State organised by the Ijaw Elders Forum, Lagos, in collaboration with Ijaw Professionals Association, Ijaw Nation Forum, G24 Embasara Foundation and Ijaw Women Connect, said he would be part of the electorate that would mobilise and reject violence in the governorship election in the state.
The former president who said after the primaries of all the political parties, all the governorship candidates must be prevailed upon to face the people and pledge not to engage in violence.
According to him, all leaders of the Ijaw nation must be prepared to stand behind the people to reject violent conduct during the election.
“For those that want to lead us politically, they must try as they can to play down violence. All those that want to lead us as the governorship election is coming, should play down violence. We should come together as Bayelsans and tell whoever wants to rule us that we won’t accept violence. If anybody uses violence, we would stand by the people until the end. After the primaries of the political parties all the candidates should come and pledge in our presence that they would not be involved in violence during the elections. Nobody should expect us to elect him as the governor of Bayelsa State if one person dies during the election.”
In a communiqué read by Dr Ayakeme Whiskey, the Ijaw leaders noted that the process of sensitising all elders, senior citizens and aspirants against violence being initiated by the Ijaw Elders Forum should be sustained.
The communiqué reads in part: “All aspirants for the office of governor of Bayelsa State must subscribe to the conduct of peaceful elections. No aspirant should seek to provide leadership and governance on the blood of fellow Bayelsans. Bayelsans must reject any candidate who employs violence, provides guns to kill fellow Ijaw men and women to gain ascendancy to the seat of power as governor of Bayelsa state.”