2023: Gov Diri Charges Politicians On Peaceful Elections


*Lauds Sacrifice of Fallen Military Heroes

Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri, has urged politicians to avoid actions likely to lead to bloodletting in the 2023 elections.

Governor Diri made the call on Saturday on the occasion of the 2022 Armed Forces Remembrance Day celebration at the Peace Park in Yenagoa, capital of Bayelsa State.

The governor in a statement issued by his Chief Press Secretary, Daniel Alabrah, said the outcome of elections should be determined by the ballot box and not the barrel of the gun, adding that the ultimate power to enthrone leadership lies in the hands of God.

He recalled the shedding of blood that characterised the 2019 governorship campaigns in Nembe community and admonished political players to vow never to allow the killing of youths in the state because of elections as a result of their ambitions.

Governor Diri appreciated the sacrifices of fallen heroes and serving members of the Nigerian Armed Forces in protecting the territorial integrity of Nigeria noting that the remembrance day should remind Nigerians of the sacrifices of the military and the need to live in peace and unity.

He called Nigerians to support projects and intervention programmes initiated to care for the families of fallen heroes and servicemen as a token of appreciation for the sacrifices the military men are making to ensure the safety of all.

The Bayelsa helmsman also charged Bayelsans to unite and support his administration’s programmes to tackle under-development and poverty in order to achieve a prosperous Bayelsa.

“This 2022 will trigger another episode in the political dynamics of our nation’s democratic growth. I believe this occasion is ideal to reiterate my often-stated optimism that elections should be about ballots and not bullets. That we should count ballots and not bodies.

“I give this admonition with the greatest sense of responsibility because the many wasted lives cut down in the prime of their lives at Nembe during the 2019 governorship elections in this state remain indelible in our memories”, Governor Diri said.

He asked Bayelsans to make a collective vow that never again would the blood of their people be used to water the ambitions of desperate politicians. He said whereas the temptation to overzealously take matters into their own hands exists, Bayelsans should pause and appreciate the fact that, ultimately, all power belongs to God.

Noting that the debt of gratitude Nigerians owe to those who choose to die for them even when did not know them, he said:

“The essence of commemorating this day is not to glorify war. Rather, it is to recall the price that others had to pay for us to live in peace and thus commit ourselves to live in such a manner that future generations will have no need to fight wars. The labour of our heroes past should never be in vain.
“Let us continue to show love to our heroes and their loved ones by supporting the various projects and interventions that have been set up to care for our men and women in uniform. This includes but not limited to making financial commitments to yielding our place in queues”, the Governor said.

He said Bayelsans cannot afford to be separated in interest or divided in purpose at this crucial time in the history of the state and Nigeria.

“As we have demonstrated several times over the nearly two years of this Government of Prosperity, we are better together. Let us unite to fight poverty, lack, ignorance and any other vices. These are our common enemies”, he added.

The highpoint of the event was the laying of wreaths by the governor, his deputy, Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, the Speaker of the House of Assembly, Abraham Ingobere, the Chief Judge, Justice Kate Abiri, and a former Military Governor of old Rivers State and Amanyanabo of Twon-Brass, King Alfred Diete-Spiff.
Other dignitaries who attended the event included heads of security agencies in the state, top government officials, and traditional rulers.


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