Gov Dickson Inaugurates Panel on Electoral Violence in Bayelsa
By Daniel Alabrah, Special Adviser on Public Affairs
Bayelsa State Governor, the Honourable Seriake Dickson, on Wednesday, constituted a six-member Judicial Commission of Inquiry to identify perpetrators and sponsors of the violence that rocked the Presidential and National Assembly election in some parts of the state.
While swearing in the members in Government House, Yenagoa, Governor Dickson said the commission was set up in line with provisions of section 2 (1) of the Commission of Inquiry Laws of Bayelsa State.
He described the crisis that marred the election as unfortunate even as he expressed his determination to bring the perpetrators to book.
The panel, which is headed by Justice Ineikade Eradiri, is also to determine the number and identity of persons that were injured or killed during the said elections.
According to the governor, the commission is equally mandated to ascertain the roles played by the perpetrators and sponsors of the mayhem that led to the loss of lives and destruction of property.
He charged the members to determine the roles played by security agencies and their officers and men that were involved in the violence and identify the institutions and persons that could have prevented the crisis.
He said the commission is expected to make recommendations it deems necessary as well as submit its report within 14 days of its first sitting.
Dickson urged observers and those who have complaints, video clips, recordings and any other vital information to forward them to the judicial panel.
His words: “I know that people are aggrieved because impostors that our people never gave their mandate have been announced as if they were elected.
“I use this opportunity to call for peace. Do not take the laws into your hands because two wrongs do not make a right.
“Let me assure you all that the God of justice shall arise and this darkness, evil and temptation will not last for too long. The charade in Nembe-Bassambiri and Constituency 4 in Southern Ijaw will not stand. And the very provocative invasion of our peaceful people by our military is condemnable.
“Let me make it clear that the commission will not go into the election but will only concern itself with the issues leading to the breakdown of law and order.”
Dr. Richard Ogbe is the secretary while other members are Mrs Felicia Olisah, a retired Deputy Commissioner of Police, Church-ere Komonibo, a retired Chief Superintendent of Police, and Archbishop Jacob Akpiri. Prof. Festus Emiri is to serve as Counsel to the commission.