Bayelsa elders condemn electoral malpractices, killings

                          Bayelsa to host town hall meetings on peaceful poll

The Bayelsa State Elders Council at the weekend condemned the destruction of lives and property in the just-concluded presidential and national assembly elections in some parts of the state.

In a communique issued at the end of an emergency meeting in Yenagoa, the Forum also decried militarization of Bayelsa communities during elections.

The elders said the role some security operatives played led to the killing of about three people in the state.

The Communique jointly signed by the Council’s Chairman, Chief Francis Doukpola, its Publicity Secretary, Chief Thompson Okorotie and Chairman of the State Traditional Rulers Council, King Alfred Diete-Spiff, called for abrogation of deployment of soldiers in subsequent elections.

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They stressed the need for a thorough investigation into the root causes of the violence and urged political actors to play by the rules to avoid a recurrence of such dastardly acts.

The Communique reads in part: “In this direction, Council welcomes the inauguration of the Judicial Commission of Enquiry which provides opportunity for those who have genuine cases to go before the Commission to enable it discharge its mandate in the interest of Bayelsa State and its people.

“Council commended the communities where elections held peacefully and requested violence prone communities to emulate them.

“Council also called on political players across the parties to stop violence, killing and maiming of innocent Bayelsans and non-Bayelsans during elections.

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“Council commiserated with one of its members, Chief A.A Taribi, whose son was allegedly killed by soldiers, and other families who lost their loved ones to the electoral violence”.

The elders claimed that security agencies especially soldiers drafted to maintain law and order connived with a political party to disenfranchise the electorate saying the development signaled danger to democracy and peaceful coexistence of the people.

Earlier in his introductory remarks, Doukpola said although the organization was apolitical, it would not fold its hands and watch political actors destroy the prevailing peace and stability in the state.

Doukpola said the emergency meeting was convened to review the state of the nation with respect to the last Saturday’s elections, particularly as it affected Bayelsa.

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Prominent traditional rulers, elders and statesmen who attended the meeting were the Chairman of Bayelsa State Traditional Rulers Council, King Alfred Diete-Spiff, Chief Francis Doukpola, the Ibenanaowei of Gbarain Kingdom, King Funpere Akah, and his Ekpetiama counterpart, King Bubaraye Dakolo

Others are Prof Ayibaemi Spiff, the Ibenanaowei of Bomo Clan, King Joshua Igbugburu, the Ebenibe of Epie Kingdom, King Malla Sasime, Paramount Ruler of Bassan Kingdom, King Jonathan Kubor and Chief Douyi Naingba.

Also in attendance were Prof Francis Sikoki, Rev Mrs Jane Alek, Chief A.M Aduba, Chief Ikoko Abraham, Lady Love Amaseimogha, a former Commissioner for Youth Development, Chief Kemi Prefa among others.

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