APC tasks Dickson on security ahead of Bayelsa guber poll
Stakeholders vow to protect women from electoral violence
Ahead of the November 16 governorship poll in Bayelsa State, the All Progressives Congress (APC) has enjoined Governor Seriake Dickson to ensure security of lives and property in the state.
During a chat with reporters in Abuja, the Deputy National Publicity Secretary of APC, Mr. Yekini Nabena, alleged that some Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) elements had mobilised thugs from other states to cause unrest in Bayelsa ahead of the poll.
Alleging that Governor Dickson was the mastermind, he said it behoves the governor to desist from any act that could breach the peace at the poll.He, however, said a petition had been sent to the Inspector General of Police (IGP) to wade into the matter.
“As witnessed in the Bayelsa State House of Assembly violence, Governor Seriake Dickson is already arming thugs and deploying the state security outfit, ‘Operation Doo Akpo’, to harass political opponents in his party (PDP) and APC members, supporters and leaders in the state ahead of the governorship election.
“Before the 2019 general election, I had called on the IGP Mohammed Adamu to probe the illegal activities of the state’s security outfit. It must be disbanded for the security of the state,” Bayelsa-born Nabena claimed.
Meanwhile, with less than 45 days to the ballot, security agencies, traditional institutions, political parties and other stakeholders have agreed to build a synergy to mitigate violence against women in the state.This was the consensus reached at a forum between security agencies, political parties and community leaders in Yenagoa, the state capital, yesterday.
Organised by the Girl Child Empowerment and Reproductive Health Initiative (GREP) with support from the National Democratic Institute (NDI), the dialogue was organised to secure the commitment of security agencies and political parties on the need to stop violence against women in politics.
Chairman of Inter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC), Bayelsa chapter, Eneyi Ziduoya, assured that political parties would adhere to both security and Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) guidelines for the election.
To achieve this, he said IPAC would engage the 45 political parties fielding candidates in the election to take action against all forms of violence against women, especially those participating in political activities in the state.
Executive director of GREP, Mrs. Rosemary Oweifawari, remarked that the non-governmental organisation (NGO) had received reports of violence against women in the state.According to her, GREP is currently providing referral and psychosocial support to women through its toll-free hotlines.
She said, “The political desk of the police will also help in coordinating response to violence ahead of the election among other things, while traditional institutions will provide an avenue for more community-based sensitisation across the state and help to reduce or eradicate cases of violence in their communities.
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