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Guber Poll: Bayelsa Women Arise condemns violence, seeks peaceful election

The Bayelsa Women Arise Organisation has condemned election violence and urged President Bola Tinubu, the security agencies to ensure a peaceful governorship election in Bayelsa State on November 11.

The women also called for justice for the victims of previous election-related violence in the state.

The women and youth, led by prominent community and civil society leaders, gathered in Yenagoa, the state capital to embark on the peace walk. The event was marked by a display of solidarity, resilience and a strong commitment to a peaceful and just electoral process in the state.

During the walk, participants held banners and placards with messages such as ‘Peaceful Elections for Bayelsa,’ ‘Justice for the Victims,’ and ‘Stop Election Violence.’ They chanted slogans calling for an end to the electoral turmoil that has plagued the state in the past.

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Faith Aminikpo, the leader of the women, expressed the collective voice of the group who are tired of witnessing violence during elections.
“We, the women of Bayelsa, are taking a stand for peace. We demand that the upcoming governorship election on November 11 be conducted without violence, she said.

“We have seen the suffering and pain caused by election-related violence, and we refuse to accept this as the norm. We cannot quickly forget the victims of the previous election violence that has been witnessed in our state, particularly in the 2015 and 2019 governorship elections.

“Today, we are yet to get justice, for victims of the mindless killing by desperate politician and their thugs, including those of Simon Otor in Ekeremor local government, Mr Abule of Southern Ijaw cocal government, Philip Ochikya, Menoze Peter in Yenagoa, ThankGod Michael, Isaac Gift among many others.”

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The group acknowledged the efforts of the incumbent administration in the state to foster peace among the citizens, which in turn, has greatly impacted the peaceful atmosphere currently being witnessed.

The women stressed the need for the security agencies and stakeholders to consolidate on state government’s efforts ahead of the forthcoming election. This claim, the group said, was confirmed in the last general election in the state where for the first time in a long time, the state, recorded no election-related death.

“We also call upon President Bola Tinubu to use his influence and authority to ensure that this election is conducted in a peaceful and transparent manner. We believe that it is in the best interest of our beloved state and its citizens that we have a peaceful democratic process,” Aminikpo said.

The organisation also used the opportunity to call for justice for the victims of past election violence in Bayelsa State, emphasising the importance of accountability and a fair legal process to address these issues. They stressed that without justice there can be no lasting peace.

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The peace walk received widespread attention and support from various sections of society, including civil society organizations, local leaders, students, youth and members of the international community. It serves as a poignant reminder of the urgent need for peace, stability, and justice in the lead-up to the upcoming governorship election.

Bayelsa Women Arise vows to continue advocating for peace and justice in Bayelsa State, and they encourage all stakeholders to join them in their quest for a peaceful electoral process and the restoration of justice for past victims of election violence, in the state.

The off-cycle governorship elections will hold in Bayelsa, Imo and Kogi on November 11.

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