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2019 election: Nigerians not safe to vote – Dickson

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. Says security agents colluding with illegal arms importers, criminals to cause mayhem

By Samuel Oyadongha

State Governor, Hon Seriake Dickson, has said Nigerians are not safe to cast their votes in the forthcoming general election owing to threats by some political actors, especially in Bayelsa.


Governor Dickson

Dickson who raised the alarm during a Media chat in Yenagoa accused the opposition of colluding with some security operatives in stockpiling arms to cause mayhem during the election.

A statement by his Special Adviser  Fidelis Soriwei, quoted Governor Dickson as expressing concern over the influx of arms in recent times into the state while the security agencies look the other way.

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According to him, his administration has been receiving reports on the activities of such politicians whose mission is to turn the Ijaw nation into shreds like the strongholds of Boko Haram.

He alluded to some politicians who are currently raising a militia and providing them with hard drugs for the purpose of intimidating and harassing legitimate voters.

He said it was only in a failed state that partisan security forces, some of whom are fundamentalists cannot guarantee the safety of the electorate.

Dickson said President Donald Trump of the United States should not be blamed for labelling African countries as ‘shit hole’ countries as they have failed to provide effective leadership in line with democratic tenets to provide the requisite environment for growth.

He lamented that the security situation had become so bad that security agencies now spy for criminal elements.

He condemned what he described as a new law in the society where people identified to be members of the APC are considered beyond arrest even when caught committing heinous offences.

His words: “We have to be concerned about the safety of our voters first before anything else. It is the job of security agencies to guarantee the safety of voters. A country where lives and property are not protected is a failed state. That is a ‘shit hole’ country so nobody should blame President Donald Trump when he said, African countries are presiding over ‘shit hole’ countries.

“In this country, we have had several instances where security men and women in uniform collude with criminal and terrorist in rigging elections and undermine the peace and stability of states like Bayelsa.

“We now have partisan security officials who have become an armed wing of the ruling party. They are not interested in peace, law and order; their concern is more in political conquest than the maintenance of law and order in this state.

“They have undermined the security of this state in such a way that I have lost count of the number of Commissioner of Police redeployed to the state within a space three months. This is the 10th CP they have sent.

“I am a governor whose authority has been most undermined in the area of security management of this state. I have records where security officers in Abuja will be calling militants and cult leaders, and how they give cover to their nefarious activities under the pretext of carrying out surveillance contracts.

“The new law is that if you are an APC member, you cannot be arrested when you kill. As an APC member, you can buy guns, get uniform, camp militia, kill and nothing happens.”

Dickson, however, called on the people not to despair but turn out en masse to vote for candidates of their choice.

He expressed optimism that the People’s Democratic Party would clinch victory at the polls, calling on the Independent National Electoral Commission to provide a level playing ground for all candidates.

The governor, however, commended security operatives who carry out their duties professionally and assured them of his administration’s continued support.

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