Following the release of the 2023 timetable by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the Governor of Bayelsa, Senator Douye Diri, has called on political actors in the state to play by the rules and not heat up the polity.
Represented by his deputy, Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, Diri stated this on Wednesday, March 16, while presiding over the 68th State Executive Council meeting at the Exco Chambers in Government House, Yenagoa.
A statement by the Media Aide to the Deputy Governor, Mr. Doubara Atasi, quoted Diri as saying that the Permanent Voters Card (PVC) was the only weapon for electoral victory as against guns and other instruments of coercion.
While reiterating the importance of exercising their civic responsibilities through the PVC, he particularly called on youths not to make themselves available as tools for politicians who always use them to perpetrate election violence.
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He said that no true politician who wants his people and democracy to develop in the country would resort to the use of violence in the pursuit of his or her political ambition.
Diri, who advised youths in the state to realize that politicians who are always in the habit of encouraging a do-or-die affair during elections, would never allow their own children and wards to do the same.
He said: “We want to use this opportunity to encourage our politicians, especially now that the INEC timetable has been made bare, we should play within the rules because politics is never a do-or-die affair.
“We vote with our PVC, that is why it is called civic responsibility. We do not vote with guns. If we were to be voting with guns, then we would have called it a military operation.
“So we want to encourage everybody to play within the rules of the game and make sure we shun violence in the coming election.
“We use this opportunity to especially encourage our youths to make themselves unavailable as tools for politicians who will always use them and at the end of the day evaporate and descend to the state only when it is close to elections.”
Diri used the opportunity once again to appreciate Bayelsans for their support towards his administration, assuring them that working together prosperity could be achieved in every part of the state.