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Bayelsa election: Group cautions Sylva, other candidates against violence



Timpreye Sylva

Ahead of the November 11 governorship election in Bayelsa State, a non-governmental organization, NGO, the Credible Elections Project, CEP, has 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.

Specifically, the group, with strong interest in a free and fair elections in Nigeria, cautioned the All Progressives Congress, APC candidate, Mr. Timipreye Sylva and others against violence, saying that the state in the Niger Delta cannot afford to be engrossed in crisis due to individual interest.

CEP, in a statement jointly signed and issued on Sunday by its National Coordinator, Dr. Fred Justin Adams and the Public Relations Officer, Amina Ahmed Musa and made available to journalists in Abuja, noted that it has been monitoring development in the state in past weeks, and found the utterances of Sylva as toxic to the tenets of democracy.

The group advised the APC candidate 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.

It 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, PDP and the APC have their strong presence in the 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.

The statement reads in part: “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.”

The CEP, however, warned that it would petition President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the Inspector General of Police, the National Security Adviser, the Department of State Services, DSS and other security agencies with clips of utterances of Sylva or any other governorship candidates should they refused to refrained from attempting to stoke crisis before the election.

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

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