By Boladei Igali
As we get set to travel to various locations around our beloved state to cast our votes to elect a new Governor for Bayelsa State on November 16, 2019, I want to call on all Bayelsans to do so in an atmosphere of peace, fraternal love and true kinship which we all share.
In all modern democracies, elections have become necessary aspects of our social existence and experience. So there is nothing exceptionally new about Saturday, November 16, 2019. This election, which is indeed local, must therefore be seen and appreciated as a healthy contest within the wider family. We must remember our age old Izon adage which says “binaotu anda, ongbo yainghamini” – a wrestling bout between siblings must not result in broken bones.
This election is a routine game within the family which must come and go. We must therefore eschew wild desperation to hold on to power and influence or uncontrolled fight for office. Worse still is the rising spirit of hostility and easy resort to intimidation and violence. The crescendo of accusations and counter accusations must be halted immediately. Oh Bayelsa Leaders and Politicians, let’s bridle our tongues and season our words!
The sanctity of the lives of our youths and vulnerable groups must be upheld and protected. Let all take heed and remind others of our Ijaw inevitable retributive justice of DUWEIYAI!
The shameful blight of undue money politics, financial inducement and open vote buying in our relatively backward state must be shunned and resisted.
We must imbibe the spirit of fair-play, mutual forbearance and equanimity. After all we are the home and “Jerusalem” of the Ijaw Nation and all closely knitted together in one spirit.
Let us remember that by end of the day, only one winner will emerge. Let us not forget, that the “Day After”, we will still live together, go to same churches, attend same social functions and still have a state to collectively build. Let us not be carried away to believe that the great challenges confronting us and the battles which we must fight to leave an enviable legacy for our children in this complex polity in which we find ourselves are over. Conversely, remember that we need one another, the more, even after the election.
Though we are small, but because of our strategic importance, the entire world is watching us. This is to the extent of several countries and organizations sending hundreds of very precious persons to be with us, on our soil and in our creeks and waterways in the next few days. We must show them great welcome, hospitality and protection. We must fully cooperative with our electoral umpire INEC and its service personnel, especially NYSC volunteers as well as the respective law enforcement agencies and try the best to ensure their full safely and well-being, even as we pray they carry out their tasks dispassionately.
May God Almighty grant us peaceful elections in Jesus matchless name.
Onuaa! Adoo!! Aluaa!!!
Godknows Boladei Igali, OON, PHD
Ibetariowei of Izon