2023: Labour party visits Bayelsa monarch, seeks level-playing field in Bayelsa

Yenagoa—The Labour Party (LP) has urged traditional rulers in Bayelsa State to be neutral and prevail on political actors and stakeholders in their domains to respect the choices of other people during campaign and voting in the 2023 general elections to ensure a peaceful atmosphere in the state.

According to the Independent newspaper, the State Co-ordinator for the LP presidential candidate, Morris Alagoa made the call when he led an advocacy visit to the state traditional rulers council chairman, King Bubaraye Dakolo, Agada IV, the Ibenanaowei of Ekpetiama Kingdom, in his office in Yenagoa on Thursday.

The visit was to seek a level-playing ground ahead of campaigns and balloting.

He urged monarchs in the state to realise that every citizen had the democratic right to exercise their freedom to vote for any candidate of their choice without intimidation and inducement by the two major Political parties in the country.

He said, “Your Majesty if we have one request to make here, it is this: our traditional rulers should remain as fathers of all and as such prevail on all stakeholders within their domains or kingdoms to respect the choices of every other stakeholder during this period of campaign and election proper as it is a democratic right of all to exercise the freedom to choose who represents him/her in government.

“The power that belongs to the people in a democracy is via the ballot, not the bullet. Ours also needs to make progress in that direction as an egalitarian society is our ultimate goal.”

The environmental rights activist further said that the emergence of an acceptable leader would attract the necessary grassroots and international goodwill to such a leader.

“Goodwill and the right vision to implement well-thought-out plans would take the nation out of the political and economic doldrums. This has goaded most of us to align with the Labour Party and so pleased to work towards the emergence of our principal, Peter Obi”, he added.

Morris informed King Dakolo that the LP standard flagbearer was the first presidential candidate to suspend his campaign and embark on visits to flood-impacted states in the country, including Bayelsa State where he was the first to visit and sympathise with the people.

Responding, King Dakolo lauded the LP team for deeming it necessary to visit him in his office as chairman of the state traditional rulers council, assuring them of the neutrality of the royal fathers in the forthcoming polls.

While stressing that he and other monarchs were non-partisan as they pray for and bless all political parties and contestants equally, the first-class traditional ruler thanked Obi for visiting Bayelsa State to empathise with the flood-impacted people.

Dakolo, who was supported by the monarchs of Ogbia and Apoi kingdoms, King Dimaro Charles Owaba and King Ikpangi Perekebina-Ala, said, “Actually, I am not partisan and most of my council members, as far as I know, are not partisan. We choose not to be partisan.

“I would also want to thank you for coming here and letting us know that, yes, when the ravaging floods; unprecedented floods came to devour us, your principal, His Excellency, Peter Obi, suspended his campaign.

“In fact, you said he was the first to suspend his campaign. We want to thank him, we want to let him know that Bayelsa State is grateful. We the fathers are grateful towards anyone that has shown that support, gesture of comradeship to the Ijaw people, who are Bayelsans and Nigerian citizens as well.”

Among those on the entourage of Alagoa Morris were the state LP chairman, Eneyi Zidougha; state welfare secretary, Enu Timipre; state publicity secretary, Ebipade Pius; Bayelsa West senatorial co-ordinator, Dr. Charles Oyibo, and his East counterpart, Bishop Jephthah Berepelene; and Ebipuado Sapere-Obi.

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