The Labour Party (LP) has urged traditional rulers in Bayelsa State to exercise neutrality and prevail on political actors and stakeholders in their domains to respect the choices of other people during campaign and voting in the 2023 general elections to ensure a peaceful atmosphere in the state.
Morris Alagoa, the State Co-ordinator for the LP presidential candidate, Peter Obi, made the call when he led an advocacy visit to the state traditional rulers’ council Chairman, King Bubaraye Dakolo, Agada IV, the Ibenanaowei of Ekpetiama Kingdom, in his office in Yenagoa on Thursday, to seek level-playing ground ahead of campaigns and balloting.
He enjoined monarchs in the state to realise that every citizen had the democratic right to exercise their freedom to vote for any candidate of their choice without intimidation and inducement by the opposition.
Morris said, “Your Majesty if we have one request to make here, it is this: our traditional rulers should remain as fathers of all and as such prevail on all stakeholders within their domains or kingdoms to respect the choices of every other stakeholder during this period of campaign and election proper as it is a democratic right of all to exercise the freedom to choose who represents him/her in government.
“The power that belongs to the people in a democracy is via the ballot, not the bullet. Ours also needs to make progress in that direction as an egalitarian society is our ultimate goal,” he said.
Responding, King Dakolo lauded the LP team for deeming it necessary to visit him in his office as chairman of the state traditional rulers’ council, assuring them of the neutrality of the royal fathers in the forthcoming polls.
While stressing that he and other monarchs were non-partisan as they pray for and bless all political parties and contestants equally, the first-class traditional ruler thanked Peter Obi for visiting Bayelsa State to empathise with the flood-impacted people.