Douye Diri, governor of Bayelsa state and candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for Saturday’s governorship election in the state and his counterpart, Timipre Sylva of the All Progressives Congress (APC) traded words yesterday over alleged plans to perpetrate violence and stockpile arms during the November 11 election.
DailyTrust reports that Diri and Sylva alongside candidates of other parties, signed the peace accord organised by the National Peace Committee (NPC) in Yenagoa on Wednesday and traded accusations shortly after embracing each other.
Diri who spoke to newsmen at the venue of the peace accord signing ceremony, alleged that the accord would not achieve the desired outcome because the APC candidate was lying about violence and arms stockpiling in his Kolokuma/Opokuma Local Government Area.
“Sylva has accused me, Douye Diri of stockpiling arms, in Kolokuma/Opokuma LGA, that should be the fattest lie of the year and that shows that this peace accord is going to be ineffectual because if a man chooses to be telling lies even in the face of this peace accord, then something is wrong,” Diri said.
“I was really embarrassed when I got that information and everybody knows in this state, those who are given to violence and the flash red points, Kolokuma/Opokuma LGA has never been a flash red point. I think the candidate of APC may have stockpiled arms on Kolokuma/Opokuma”, he alleged, calling on security agencies to investigate.
The governor who is the candidate of the PDP promised to be “fully committed to peace.”
Also speaking, the APC candidate and former governor of the state, Sylva, accused the PDP of masterminding a lot of violence in Kolokuma/Opokuma LGA, the home of the governor.
The former governor, however, expressed hope that the peace accord would make the key actors in the election stand back and work for peace.
“APC today has come to demonstrate that we are committed to peace in Bayelsa State, but we are not comfortable with the disposition of our opponents; there has been a lot of violence orchestrated by PDP in Kolokuma/Opokuma LGA, but I’m hoping that the peace accord will make all of us to stand back, and ensure there is peace in this election,” he said.
“We hope that other parties will obey and abide by the peace accord, having signed it, we believe it will at least change everybody not to do what they are planning to do because we hear all the plans, we hear thugs imported from other states,” he said.
The chairman of the National Peace Committee (NPC), General Abdulsalami Abubakar (Rtd), represented by the Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Sokoto and Secretary of the Committee, Bishop Matthew Kukah, urged the people of the state to vote for peace and togetherness on Saturday.
He advised the parties’ candidates not to see the signing of the peace accord as a mere formality.