Don’t Monetize Your Votes: NGO Advises Electorate in Bayelsa State



A Niger Delta-based non-governmental organization, NGO, Center for Peace and Environmental Justice (CEPEJ) has charged indegens of Bayelsa State to vote for the right candidate rather than selling their votes to the wrong candidate and regret later.


In a statement signed by its National Coordinator, Comrade Sheriff Mulade, the NGO advised voters in Bayelsa State to institutionalize peace and tranquility by casting their ballots for only candidates who have the pains of the masses at heart, and not those who will give excuses for bad governance after being sworn in.


The Center said the main purpose of elections into political offices is to serve the people, and therefore the process of securing the mandate to serve should not be a do or die affair.


CEPEJ strongly advised voters, especially those in the rural areas, against selling their votes, which are their rights and authority to question bad leaders in the future.


The NGO urged voters in Bayelsa State to elect only those who are willing to serve and unite the people, as well as ensure sustainable socio-economic development of that State.


While urging the people to come out enmasse and exercise their civic responsibilities, CEPEJ warned politicians in Bayelsa State against the imposition of candidates and election rigging, so as to ensure sustainable development and good governance in the State.


Bayelsa people were also advised to learn from the experiences of other States where the electorate voted for selfish reasons, and suffered the negative implications later. According to the Center, in some of such States, Governors are unable to pay salaries, on the flimsy excuse that they met empty treasuries.


The NGO charged the people of Bayelsa State to enrhrone a democratic government that believes in equitable power sharing and distribution of dividends to all.


The Center noted that no candidate's ambition is worth the blood of any Bayelsa indigene, and therefore warned the youths to resist every temptation to be used as thugs by politicians to snatch ballot boxes, kidnap political opponents, and perpetrate violence and tension in the November 16, 2019 election. as such acts will obviously deny them peace and development in the future.


CEPEJ also strongly recommended that candidates should be properly screened before being voted for, as well as advised losers to accept election results and congratulate the winners who in turn should be magnanimous in victory and run an all inclusive government. It enjoined politicians not to see polling booths as battle fields, but as venues for the peaceful election of democratic leaders who will develop Bayelsa State and its people.


The Center urged the Federal Government, INEC officials, politicians, security personnel, election observers at local and international levels, as well other stakeholders to ensure that politicians play the game According to the rules by monitoring the election processes closely in order to avoid conflict and violence before, during, and after the election.


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