Bayelsa State governor, Seriake Dickson, at the weekend called on the APC governorship candidate, Chief Timipre Sylva and other members of the opposition to work with him in delivering a credible, free, fair and peaceful election in the December 5 gubernatorial poll.
Governor Dickson, who described the election as an isolated one, called on Bayelsans not to allow themselves to be intimidated in their various communities across the state, assuring that, their votes will count.
Speaking on a wide range of issues in a live radio and television interview programme, he noted that, the state government has received assurances from the Federal Government that, the coming election would be free and fair as a combined team of special police mobile squad and officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC would be deployed to the state to conduct the election.
Expressing optimism that the new INEC team would aspire to do better than its predecessors, Governor Dickson said the election would serve as a referendum on the stand of the Ijaws, as a people.
His words: “There will be no molestation. I like to use this opportunity to assure you that you will be safe. Don’t allow the criminals and the ungodly to intimidate you from doing what is right. Feel free to vote according to your conscience. You will not only vote; your votes will count. This election is a single election and the whole nation and international observers will be here and voting will take place in your communities. You are the masters of your communities. Vote, stay there until the results are declared in every unit. I am willing to abide by your verdict. I have spent the past couple of years, providing service and leadership in the circumstances that we have found ourselves.
“I believe that this election is a referendum on what we have done and it’s also a referendum on who you are. The whole world is also waiting to see if with all these development, where you will stand as a proud Ijaw man or woman. This election is beyond me. This election is essentially about you, it is about your honour, respect and dignity and most importantly it is about your future.
“Ak 47, bombs and pump action rifles were not instruments of politics” rather Governor Dickson urged the people to arm themselves with permanent voter cards to exercise their franchise.
“We have an election ahead. The time has come to exercise your mandate freely. I will endeavor with my team to convince you so that you can see the need for us to consolidate development, peace and stability so that this state will not stand out as the crying baby of the South-South. For a long time, Bayelsa is like a sore thumb in the South-South with the highest turnover of governors, deputy governors, deputy speakers and acting governors than any other state in Nigeria. But in the last three and half we have tried to stabilize the polity and advance the cause for peace.”

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