Bayelsa election: US, UK diplomats meet candidates, advocate credible

Delegations from British High Commission and US Embassy in Nigeria on Tuesday commenced meetings with candidates of leading political parties for the Nov. 16 governorship election in Bayelsa.
News Agency of Nigeria recalls that the envoys had in August visited Gov. Seriake Dickson on an advocacy for peaceful conduct ahead of the elections.
The US Consul-General, Claire Pierangelo and Leader of the British High Commission team, Sarabjit Singh, said they were in the state to advocate peaceful election by meeting with leading candidates in the election.
Pierangelo said the US Embassy would raise an election observer team to monitor the conduct of the election across the state, insisting that they would support relevant stakeholders to achieve credible poll.
The team commenced the meeting with the candidate of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, Senator Douye Diri.
The PDP Gubernatorial candidate claimed that the All Progressives Congress, was not ready for a peaceful election in the state.
He said the recent activities of the opposition party and their consistent boasting and threats to PDP supporters were indications of their plots to compromise the election.
Diri said that the PDP was firmly rooted in Bayelsa and would not need to engage in violence to win election.
“We don’t want violence. Election is not war, you don’t need gun. We are ready for a peaceful free, fair and credible election unlike our main opponent.
“We are also calling on INEC and the security agents to remain neutral in the election. INEC must help Nigeria democracy to grow,’’ Diri added.
The PDP candidate appealed to the two international bodies to beam their searchlight on the conduct of the Nov. 16 governorship election.
The team is scheduled to meet candidates of other 44 political parties listed by INEC to participate in the election in their subsequent meetings.