The governorship candidate of All Progresives Grand Alliance in Rivers state, Prince Ugo Beke has called on other gubernatorial candidates in the state to demonstrate civility, understanding and social responsiblity to ensure that the Independent National Electoral Commission(INEC) conducts 2023 general elections successfully.
Speaking in a live discussion programme titled; “Road To 2023”, on Nigeria Info 92-3 fm Port Harcourt, today, Prince Beke said that the society determines what happens in it and so it behooves on the gubernatorial candidates to ensure peaceful elections by not instigating their supporters to violence rather encouraging dialogue with INEC in grey areas to address misundersatnding and threat to successful elections.
He said most violence in the election are products of desperation on the part of politicians.
” Violence in Rivers state has always been based on the desperation of the contestants.. If you look at 2015, the level of violence was high and progressed into 2019.. We are witnesses to what happened iin Abonnema, Akuku Toru LGA where innocent lives were lost. If the contestants will accept democracy as the rule of majority acommodating the minority and know that acquisition of power is for the general good of the society, I think there will be less violence. What brings violence is the desperation of politicians to win at all costs. I think if politicians can manage their desperation to acquire power at all costs, we can achieve a lot of peace in our pre, during and post election periods. Today, politicians instead of delivering dividends of democracy are so engrossed in raw power play and they have aligned themselves with cult groups and violence-making machines”, he said.
Speaking further, Prince Beke urged INEC to organize regular interface on areas of misunderstanding and conflicts to nip violence in the bud.
The APGA candidate expressed optimism in the capability of the electoral body to conduct credible elections in 2023.
“What I have noticed in the past two to three elections conducted by INEC have so far been commendable. They are doing a good job. We need to encourage them to continue to do good job. I think that alot of people do not understand this Bimodal Voter Accreditation System technology (BVAS) very well. I am exposed to this technology and also working with Africa and the United Nations to ensure that we have good governace that could elevate Africa. INEC is just providing administration. They don’t own the BVAS technology. The technology is owned and domicile in Dublin. And they don’t own the satellite that convenes the technology, So, it will be difficult for INEC to tamper with it. I can see the sincerity of INEC. They are being watched by the international community and owners of the technology”, he stated.
Contributing further, Beke admonish proponents of ethnic politics whom he said are mostly instigators of violence and called for issue based campaign following the norms of democracy.
” It has to be issue based campaign. it has to be issues to create a good economy, environment; build a formidable society that is progressive. I don’t think that humanity was created for greed or destruction. Humanity was created by God, out of love. If God didn’t want us to enjoy a good society He won’t have created humanity. So, the concept of democracy is issue based. It is about selling your ideas of how you want to better the lives of people. I call on politicians to play by the rules”, he appealed.
In their response, callers agreed with the assertion of the APGA candidate but however cautioned INEC not to be partial as partiality is a prelude to violence.