….vows to resist any attempt to upturn the will of the people
In a remarkable show of unity and determination, the Bayelsa Women Arise organization conducted a peaceful peace walk today, in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State Capital, condemning election violence and urging President Bola Tinubu and the Security agencies, to ensure a peaceful governorship election in Bayelsa State on November 11. The women also called for justice for the victims of previous election-related violence in the state.
Thousands of women and youth, led by prominent community and Civil Soceity leaders, gathered at the State Capital to embark on the peace walk. The event was marked by a display of solidarity, resilience, and a strong commitment to a peaceful and just electoral process in Bayelsa State.
During the walk, participants held banners and placards with messages such as “Peaceful Elections for Bayelsa,” “Justice for the Victims,” and “Stop Election Violence.” They chanted slogans calling for an end to the electoral turmoil that has plagued the state in the past.
Professor Faith Aminikpo, the leader of the Women, delivered a powerful speech, expressing the collective voice of the women who are tired of witnessing violence during elections. She stated, “We, the women of Bayelsa, are taking a stand for peace. We demand that the upcoming governorship election on November 11 be conducted without violence. We have seen the suffering and pain caused by election-related violence, and we refuse to accept this as the norm. We cannot quickly forget the victims of the previous election violence that has been witnessed in our state, particulalrly in the 2015 and 2019 Governorship elections. Today, we are yet to get justice, for vitcims of the mindless killing by desperate politician and their thugs, including those of Simon Otor in Ekeremor local government, Mr Abule of Southern Ijaw Loal government, Philip Ochikya, Menoze Peter in Yenagoa, ThankGod Michael, Isaac Gift among many others.”
Furthermore, the group acknowledged the efforts of the Bayelsa State incumbent administration, in fostering peace among the citizens, which in turn, has greatly impacted on the peaceful atmosphere, currently being witnessed days, ahead of the election, stressing the need, for the security agencies and stakeholders, to consolidate on State government’s effort, ahead of the forthcoming election. This claim, the group said, is confirmed in the last general election in the State, where for the first time in a long time, the State, recorded no election related death.
Professor Aminikpo continued, “We also call upon President Bola Tinubu to use his influence and authority to ensure that this election is conducted in a peaceful and transparent manner. We believe that it is in the best interest of our beloved state and its citizens that we have a peaceful democratic process.”
The organization also used the opportunity to call for justice for the victims of past election violence in Bayelsa State, emphasizing the importance of accountability and a fair legal process to address these issues. They stressed that without justice, there can be no lasting peace.
The peace walk received widespread attention and support from various sections of society, including civil society organizations, local leaders, Students, Youth and members of the international community. It serves as a poignant reminder of the urgent need for peace, stability, and justice in the lead-up to the upcoming governorship election.
Bayelsa Women Arise vows to continue advocating for peace and justice in Bayelsa State, and they encourage all stakeholders to join them in their quest for a peaceful electoral process and the restoration of justice for past victims of election violence, in the state.