An Election Observer with the Institute of Peace and Conflict Resolution, Dr Mohammed Dankogi, has called for peace as counting and collation of votes continue across Bayelsa after the conduct of the state governorship election.
Dankogi in an interview with newsmen on Saturday in Yenagoa, urged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to live up to its promise of delivering credible and acceptable election.
Dankogi, the Director, Democracy and Development Study in the institute, also urged the youth not to allow themselves to be used for violence after the declation of the election results.
“The youth should not be instrument of violence in the hand of political gladiators, they should be responsible people in their conducts.
“The youth are tomorrow’s leaders, and if they allow themselves to be used as instrument of violence today, that means they will give away their tomorrow, which should be better than today.
“To the politicians, election must not be a do or die kind of thing. If you lose be ready to accept defeat and and if you win, be magnanimous in victory,” Dankogi added.
He called on security agencies to continue to be civil and professional in their conduct.
On the election generally, Dankogi said that though no election across the globe could be 100 per cent peaceful and perfect, the voting process in Bayelsa was relatively peaceful.
“By and large, I think the process from our observation is peaceful and election cannot be said to be credible if not peaceful,” Dankogi added.
Asked if he observed any issue of vote-buying, Dankogi said yes, adding that it will be part of the group’s report after the election.
“At a particular polling unit we saw a party representative, I wouldn’t know whether he is an agent or not, but somebody offering money.
“I will not mention the party, he was telling them ‘we have money, come and collect and vote, others don’t have money, don’t vote for them’.
“It will part of what we will capture in our report,” Dankogi said.
Also, the Resident Electoral Commissioner for Nasarawa State, Mrs Caroline Okpe, deployed by INEC to monitor election, attributed the early arrival of election materials and personnel to polling units to effective management of the process.
Okpe, who expressed satisfaction with the electoral process, urged everyone to continue to maintain the peace.
“We should maintain the peace that is already existing, violence doesn’t pay.
“If there is violence from any poling unit, any result coming from there will be zero. If it is zero, nobody will benefit from that,” Okpe said.