Eradiri (3rd right), Tye (fourth right) and members of the two teams during the visit
The United Kingdom Government has pledged to support free, fair, and credible election ahead of the November 11 gubernatorial election in Bayelsa State.
The UK government made the pledge on Wednesday when the Political Secretary, British High Commission, Abuja, Hamish Tye, held a meeting with the governorship candidate of the Labour Party (LP) Mr. Udengs Eradiri, at his residence in Yenagoa, the state capital.
Tye said his team visited Bayelsa to meet with the governorship candidates, get a better idea of the issues shaping the poll as well as better understanding of the manifestoes of each governorship candidate.
He said: “We have come to Bayelsa to meet with the governorship candidates and to get a better idea of the issues they are going to be contesting in the election and what the people are going to be voting on the basis of and to get a better idea of what each governorship candidate will like to do while in office.
“We don’t have any demands per say but our view is that the election should be peaceful and credible. We also discussed the idea of peace accord and that will be followed up on.”
In his remarks, Eradiri, said the visit was to assess the personalities of each candidate and their dispositions to peace and security.
He said: “Generally, they wanted to know why I wanted to be governor and what I am bringing to the table. It afforded me the opportunity to express the Labour Party agenda for the leadership of Bayelsa State.
“For me the concerns that I raised and I keep raising them, is about vote buying which is already ongoing by appointments that are being dished out by the government of the day. They promised 17 members per polling unit, they are paying N100,000 each.
“As for me, I am creating a lot of jobs for young people. Since I came into this race, I have noticed the jittery nature of the government. I have seen them coming to Labour Party to give members appointments into government. Most of them have been employed, most of them have been appointed.
“So, I am grateful that I am not governor for now, yet I am creating jobs for young people. This is what the government of Bayelsa State should have done months ago, and doing it now, amounts to vote buying, it amounts to inducing gullible Bayelsa people thinking that their life wants to start whereas it is just for three months.
“Some of them won’t even get salary, it is just a show of desperation to use the people’s wealth to buy them. It is the responsibility of government to appoint aides that will work for the progress of the state. Appointing them now, what happened all these three years and half, what has been happening to those positions?
“It means that authority not used is authority lost. For three and half years, we didn’t have those positions, it means that we failed in our responsibility, we violated the oath of office and the constitution of Bayelsa and the federal republic by not filling those positions that are being filled today as a result of election.
“The other is the way and manner INEC has been reduced to a point where people who think they are in control have begun to talk about how they will influence postings in INEC; how they are going to write results. Those are the issues we are bringing to the international community to note these things”.