Bayelsa Election And The Mockery Of Democracy By INEC And The APC Led Federal Government
It is worrisome to observe that after sixteen years of our democratic experience, Nigeria could witness the events that characterized the December 5th governorship election in Bayelsa State.
While Nigerians and perhaps the global community were anticipating an improvement from the failures of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC to successfully conduct the isolated governorship election in Kogi State two weeks earlier, Nigerians were shocked seeing scenarios worse than anticipated, rearing its ugly head during the Bayelsa Governorship election.
The glaring subjugation of the electoral process by the INEC, into the hands of agents of the All Progressives Congress (APC) aided by the security agencies, particularly the Military has sealed our belief, that the incumbent administration of President Buhari is on a drive towards imposing a one party State on Nigerians, in a manner that is totally contemptuous of democratic governance.
May we at this point remind the President Buhari led administration that the APC as a party is in charge of governance at the centre by the virtue of the determination of the past administration of Dr. Goodluck Jonathan to place the collective interest of the Nation and entrenchment of democracy above his party’s interest and personal ambition.
We strongly condemn the harassment, torture and intimidation of Bayelsans particularly the Women and children by the Nigerian Military acting on “orders from above” while at the same allowing the rampaging thugs and militants working for the APC, to have a free day during the election in Bayelsa State.
May we at this point remind President Buhari and INEC, that no individual or group from wherever can single-handedly installed a Governor on the people of Bayelsa State, in manners that are against every known democratic tenets. President Muhammadu Buhari must not jettison his confession of being a transformed democrat, back to being a dictator and Maximum Ruler in the country.
We hereby also call on the Professor Yakub Mahmud led INEC to retrace its step to the path of sincerity and credibility built by his predecessor, Professor Attahiru Jega. He should be reminded that Nigerians are not willing to sacrifice our hard earned democracy on the altar of the ambition of any individual or party and we shall at all times, resist any attempt to manipulate the electoral process as witnessed in Bayelsa on Saturday, particularly at the Southern Ijaw Local Government Area.
May we advise Nigerians that the current situation on our hands is not about ambitions or our determination to resist the manipulation of the APC in Bayelsa State, it is rather a crusade to ensure the sanctity of our electoral process and the defense of democracy, as it is becoming glaring that the ruling APC is incapable of sustaining or deepening democracy in our country.
We urge Bayelsans, particularly the people of Southern Ijaw Local government to remain calm and steadfast in the days ahead, as no amount of intimidation will further prevent them from exercising their franchise.
Our democracy must survive.
Ijaw Independent Movement