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Arming Non-State Actors For Election Purposes Portends Grave Danger, Says Bayelsa Governor Douye Diri

Arming Non-State Actors For Election Purposes Portends Grave Danger, Says Bayelsa Governor Douye Diri

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He also condemned vote buying during elections, saying there is “integrity in poverty.”Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri, has expressed concern over the arming of civilians by politicians during elections, with the intention of manipulating the electoral process.
Diri said the development portended grave danger to the country’s electoral system, noting that as a result of the trend, there was a general notion that the game of politics was synonymous with violence, corruption and dishonesty.
He spoke on Sunday during a special retirement thanksgiving service in honour of Air Vice Marshal Nelson Calmday at the Living Faith Church of God at Akenfa-Epie, Yenagoa.
The governor, who said most decent people dreaded politics because of such notion, however, dismissed the perception and rather encouraged such people, particularly Christians, to get actively involved in politics towards sanitising the electoral system.
The governor stressed the need for all stakeholders to join hands to work together to change the narrative for the sake of posterity.
“Politics actually should be played by decent and honest people, who are ready to serve and protect the interest of the people.
“How long will Africans continue to play politics of violence, brigandage and impunity as if we are in the stone age? We should learn to rise above such antics  in our electoral system.
“In sane climes, elections take place peacefully without violence. Should we hand over this state to a group of gangsters; people who think the state belongs to them?”
Diri, who also condemned the incidence of vote-buying during elections, added: “There is what we call poverty of the mind apart from poverty of the pocket. There is also integrity in poverty. When your mind is intact, nobody will influence you with little money.
“You have tested our government, which says we will not use any organ to kill anybody. We want our state to be peaceful; we want our state to develop.
“You are seeing it, but on the day of election, you collect money to vote for those who do not mean well for the state. Those you do not see until election season and afterwards they disappear.”
In his remarks, Hon. Oforji Oboku, revealed that he had a cordial relationship with the governor and had supported him from when he contested election into the House of Representatives, Senate and the governorship.
Speaking during the unveiling of his hospitality facility, AVM Calmday thanked the governor for the relative peace in the state, saying Bayelsa was one of the safest states to invest in the country.
The retired Air Force officer attributed his successful completion of 38 years of service and the facility to God, whom he said saw him through several difficult moments.


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