Almost all politicians love to sing the song of peace whenever it is election time. They feel free to preach it to those who care, but reports in the media in the recent past have shown that the politicians merely preach but do not believe in peaceful elections.
From Bayelsa to Akwa Ibom, from Rivers to Cross River, there are reports of threats of war by those who have, before now, been preaching peaceful elections. Take Rivers State for example. A few weeks ago, the director-general of the Tonye Cole campaign organisation, Dr Chidi Lloyd was reported to have declared that his party will go to war with anyone who invited them to war.
Last week, the state governor, Nyesom Wike, while on a campaign rally, repeated the same thing. He told his followers at the rally, that they should feel free to hit anybody who hits them. In other words, they should get ready with their weapons of war, just in case anybody attacks them.
In Bayelsa State, there are also similar reports. During the last meeting the state police command had with political parties, the politicians raised the alarm, that violence was in the offing. In fact, the speaker, Komowei Benson even expressed the fear that he might leave politics because of what he was seeing.
The various police commands in the region have since warned politicians against violence and arms bearing. Even the police IG recently issued a statement to that effect, as he warned all those in possession of arms, illegally, to surrender them or get ready for the wrath of the law.
In Cross River State, there have been pockets of violence. People's posters are being torn. Billboards are being destroyed. Loyalists of some candidates are being attacked. There is violence in the air, just a few weeks to the general elections.
We do not believe that this is the best way to go. Politics is all about power and service. So, if people are killed just to enable others acquire power to serve, who will they serve and of what use is that power if there are no persons to serve?
What it simply means is that anybody who invests in violent actions, sponsoring and arming boys to torment their opponents, then their ultimate goal is not to serve the people.
It is our position that peaceful elections are possible and should be encouraged and supported. Political office seekers should endeavour to go about their activities in peaceful manners and ensure that their followers do not in any way hurt their opponents or do anything to suggest their disdain for peaceful electoral processes.
We urge law enforcement agents to get ready to do their work without fear or favour. They should be ready to protect and defend the nation's constitution by ensuring that the country goes through a peaceful, orderly elections. Anything short of this is unacceptable.