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Election materials. PHOTO: Yasuyoshi CHIBA / AFP

The Ijaw Elders Forum (IEF) has called on the aspirants for the November 16, 2019 governorship elections in Bayelsa State to subscribe to the peaceful conduct of the elections, saying, “no aspirant should seek to provide leadership and governance on the blood of fellow Bayelsans.”

The group also urged the people of the state to reject any candidate who employs violence to gain ascendancy to the seat of power.

This was contained in a communiqué issued at the end of a one-day workshop on Credible Governorship Election and Good Governance in Bayelsa State held in Yenagoa.

The workshop was organised by the IEF in collaboration with Ijaw Professionals Association, Ijaw Nation Forum, G24 Embasara Foundation and Ijaw Women Connect. Key dignitaries in the state including former president, Goodluck Jonathan were in attendance.

The communiqué signed by IEF’s Secretary, Efiye Bribena, noted that the group would sustain the process of sensitising all leaders, senior citizens and aspirants towards a peaceful governorship election in the state.

“The process of sensitising all leaders, senior citizens and aspirants being initiated by the IEF should be sustained. All aspirants for the office of governor of Bayelsa State must subscribe to the conduct of peaceful elections. No aspirants should seek to provide leadership and governance on 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.”

The communiqué observed that the recourse to violence during elections offers far-reaching negative consequences for the development of the state, adding that it puts to question the critical essence of leadership in Bayelsa State.

“The development of the Ijaw nation has not in any form been commensurate with the depth of resources endowment in Ijaw land and this indeed is a reflection of leadership challenges. The recourse to violence during elections offers far-reaching negative consequences for our development as a people as it puts to question the critical essence of leadership in Bayelsa State. It was the resolve to change the trajectory of unaccountable leadership that inspired the production of the Ijaw Charter and Code of Ethics, Leadership and Governance, which overall intent is to entrench the fundamentals of good, accountable, transparent and participatory governance to engender peace, security, social inclusion and justice for sustainable economic growth and development,” the communiqué added.



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