British High Commission Harps On Peace In Bayelsa

Story by Ovie smith

The British High Commission has pledged its support to free, fair, and credible elections ahead of the November 11 governorship election in Bayelsa State.

This was disclosed by the political secretary, British High Commission, Hamish Tye, during a meeting with the governorship candidate of the Labour Party, Engr. Udengs Eradiri, at his residence in Yenagoa, the state capital.

According to Tye, the team visited Bayelsa to meet with the governorship candidates, get a better idea of the issues they are going to be contesting in the election and also get a better idea of what each governorship candidate will like to do while in office.

He said, “We have come to Bayelsa to meet with the governorship candidates and to get a better idea of the issues they are going to be contesting in the election and what the people are going to be voting on the basis of and to get a better idea of what each governorship candidate will like to do while in office.

“We don’t have any demands per say but our view is that the election should be peaceful and credible. We also discussed the idea of a peace accord and that will be followed up on.

Addressing newsmen after the meeting, the Labour Party governorship candidate, Engr. Udengs Eradiri, said the visit was to assess the candidates in the election and get their views with respect to security, the peaceful nature of the elections and whether they will be committed to a peace accord.

He said, “Generally, they wanted to know why I wanted to be governor and what I am bringing on the table. It afforded me the opportunity to express the Labour Party agenda for the leadership of Bayelsa State.

“For me, the concerns that I raised and I keep raising are about vote buying which is already ongoing by appointments that are being dished out by the government of the day. They promised 17 members per polling unit, they are paying N100,000 each.

“As for me, I am creating a lot of jobs for young people. Since I came into this race, the jittery nature of the government, I have seen them coming to the Labour Party to appoint Bayelsans, Labour Party members into government. Most of them have been employed, most of them have been appointed.

“So I am grateful that I am not governor yet, I am creating Jobs for young people. This is what they should have done months ago, doing it now, it amounts to vote buying, it amounts to inducing gullible Bayelsans thinking that their life wants to start whereas it’s just for three months.

“Some of them won’t even get a salary, it is just a show of desperation to use the people’s wealth to buy them. It is the responsibility of the government to appoint aides that will work for the progress of the state. Appointing them now, what happened all these three and half years? What has been happening to those positions?

“It means that authority not used is authority lost. For three and half years, we didn’t have those positions, which means that we failed in our responsibility, we violated the oath of office and the constitution of Bayelsa and the federal republic by not filling those positions that are being filled today as a result of the election.

“The other is the way and manner INEC has been reduced to a point where people who think they are in control have begun to talk about how they influenced postings in INEC, how they are going to write results. Those are the issues we are bringing to the international community to note these things.”

Udengs further said his request for statutory security personnel as a governorship candidate has been denied.

“I am supposed to get security from the DSS but unfortunately, I have written, they have asked me to go to Abuja. It is God and the people that are protecting me in this election because even the institutions of state are used to playing politics with the lives of our people.

“We are going to expose to Bayelsans the incompetence of leadership that has brought us to our knees and why the Labour Party is a better alternative in this election”, he said.

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