Ny Yemi Oyeyemi, Abuja.
The Network of Bayelsa Professionals (NBP) has asked President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to resist the temptation of interfering with the November 11 governorship election in the state in the interest of fairness and advancement of democracy in the country.
The group said its appeal for neutrality of the Presidency is coming on the heels of speculations that President Tinubu has assured the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief Timipre Sylva of total support including deployment of the Military to help him win the election.
Members of the APC in the state were said to have been rejoicing that the President assured their candidate, Chief Sylva that he was going to do everything to ensure he wins including using the influence of the Military.
Some chieftains of the APC in the State were also reported to have made the claim in a viral video on social media after the recent meeting between Tinubu and Sylva at the Presidential villa in Abuja.
However, the Network of Bayelsa Professionals in a statement on Sunday said if the claims are true, President Tinubu will be subverting democracy and setting the state up for chaos.
The group in a the statement released in Abuja and signed by their Spokesman, Mr. Deinmobofa Tantua urged the President not to undermine the tenets of democracy by using the Military for a civil excercise which may lead to fatalities.
They also pleaded with President Tinubu to know that the Bayelsa, Kogi and Imo elections will be the first under him and the entire world will be watching keenly to see how it will go.
The group said: “Tinubu should realize that he still has a burden hanging on his neck because of his emergence and should not double that burden but use the coming elections to begin to redeem himself.
“We therefore call on the President to be mindful of those who want to use him to disrupt the peace and stability in the state because of their desperate ambition.
“Bayelsans are not preparing for war but election. The emphasis should be ballot and not bullets. PVC and not Ak-47 rifles. We have lost innocent people in the past because of the role played by some security agents in the past”.
While insisting that the election should not be used to turn the state into a theater of war, they also called on Tinubu to warn all the institutions responsible for the conduct of the election to allow the votes of the people to count and “not create tension and unnecessary panic before, during and after the election”.
The group added that Bayelsa is enjoying a peaceful atmosphere because of Governor Douye Diri’s level of political tolerance, maturity and disposition.
The NBP reaffirmed that with the satisfactory performance of Diri in the last few years, Bayelsans are willing to re-elect him especially as he remains the best choice among the contestants for the exalted office.