Bayelsa State Governor Douye Diri has asked politicians in the state not to prepare for violence in the November 11 governorship election, saying the poll is about votes and not guns.
Governor Diri also urged his opponents to contest for the ballots and not bullets. His Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Daniel Alabrah, quoted the governor as saying this yesterday during the 25th State Security Council meeting in Government House, Yenagoa. He warned the opposition not to resort to mayhem and violence as it will not be tolerated.
Diri, who referred to a recent concern expressed by chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Mahmoud Yakubu, that incumbent governors were preventing the opposition from using public facilities in some states, promised that his administration would ensure a level playing field for all parties and that the opposition in the state would not be arm-twisted.
He, however, urged the security agencies to be alert to forestall any act of violence ahead of the election. He said: “In Bayelsa, I assure my opponents that we are not going to arm-twist anyone. In the same vein, no opponent should threaten mayhem and violence. “So, I again call on all our security agencies to be alert as we move towards the November 11 contest. It is a contest of votes and not of guns. It is a contest of ballots, not bullets.
As the former president succinctly said that his office was not worth the blood of any Nigerian, I believe in that and I stand by those words.” Briefing journalists at the end of the meeting, the state Commissioner of Police, Tolani Alausa, said the council resolved that a joint task force to checkmate criminal activities preparatory to the governorship election, particularly in the Nembe axis, would be set up soon.