Prosecuting electoral offenders will guarantee acceptance of poll results – Bayelsa monarch
Chairman of the Bayelsa State Traditional Rulers Council, Bubaraye Dakolo, has said the neutrality of the Nigeria Police, including ensuring arrest and speedy prosecution of perpetrators of electoral fraud will guarantee acceptance of electoral results.
According to him, it is shameful that electoral violators get away with their crimes noting that such should not be the case in the 2023 general election.
Dakolo equally admonished the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to ensure it handles the electioneering processes effectively, according to the rules and regulations guiding the conduct of elections.
The first-class monarch also enjoined leaders of the political parties and their supporters to respect the laws of the land during the forthcoming polls.
Dakolo, Agada IV and Ibenanaowei of Ekpetiama Kingdom, made the call when Morris Alagoa, the state coordinator of the Labour Party (LP) presidential candidate, Peter Obi, led a team on an advocacy visit to his office in Yenagoa, to seek level-playing field in the state.
“We came here not for the exclusive interest of our party, the Labour Party, but in the collective interest of all political parties and stakeholders in the state. Bearing in mind that not only is peace priceless and terror being considered as senseless; no single organisation, community or individual has monopoly of violence,” Morris said.
The traditional ruler said: “I do advocate for INEC to do its job properly this season. I also advocate for all leaders of the political parties in Nigeria to obey the rules. Some parties are losing in court because they didn’t do simple primaries correctly in some states. Simple primaries they didn’t do correctly!
“I will enjoin all the parties to follow the rules, including INEC and then let all citizens also follow the rules. The rules I am talking about here, include living and let live, vote and let the other man vote, too.”
Admonishing the police, he said, “I would want to use this opportunity to call on the Nigeria Police that is in charge of peace and security to ensure that anybody that tries to buy votes should be apprehended and prosecuted; irrespective of the stop-gaps that are placed, attempts to cheat the system or being violent in any way, should be prosecuted because it is a big shame that over the years, hardly has anyone being charged to court and jailed for electoral violence. I have not heard.
“I do know that some persons have constituted themselves as electoral thugs and they say, ‘our season has come again’. So this is a challenge to the Nigeria Police and law enforcement agencies in general that no Nigerian should see an electoral season as their season because of thuggery, electoral Dollars.”