By Eunice Nnachi
Governor of Bayelsa State, Senator Douye Diri, has charged his appointees and members of the Peoples Democracy Party (PDP) to stand firm in defence of democracy during the November 11 governorship election in the state.
The Bayelsa governor also called on local and international lovers of democracy to show keen interest in the forthcoming elections in Bayelsa, Imo and Kogi states in order to ensure a free, fair and transparent process.
His Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Daniel Alabrah, said in a statement that Senator Diri spoke at a meeting of the PDP state working committee at its secretariat in Yenagoa and at another meeting with his appointees at the DSP Alamieyeseigha Banquet Hall in the Government House.
The governor expressed the optimism that with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) ensuring transparency and fairness and the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) working optimally, votes in the November election would count.
The Bayelsa helmsman, who decried the threats of violence by one of the governorship candidates in the election, urged politicians to play by the rules in order to deepen democracy and not throw the state or country into crisis.
He urged party members to be steadfast and committed towards ensuring victory for the PDP in the election.
His words: “I call on all lovers of democracy in Nigeria and Africa to put their eyes on the elections in these three states – Bayelsa, Imo and Kogi – so that we can have peaceful, transparent, credible and free elections.
“If we truly love our state, this is the time to stand firm. It is the time to know the difference between those who have character, integrity and those who are like commodities in the market to be purchased.
“Beware of commodity buyers during election. Let us not turn ourselves to commodities. Let us be good party men.”
Speaking on his major challenger from the All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief Timipre Sylva, he said he failed as a former governor of the state and as a minister.
He also stated that Sylva as Minister of State for Petroleum Resources connived with others to take away Bayelsa’s only oil asset, the Atala oil field.
Diri enjoined lovers of the state to reject the APC candidate to ensure continuity of the developmental projects of his administration.