Chief Dumo Lulu-Briggs, the Accord Rivers State governorship candidate for the 2023 election, has commended the INEC and the police commissioner and other security agencies for their commitment to making the 2023 elections free and fair.
Speaking at the Independent National Electoral Commission INEC and Security Agencies sensitization meeting of all the candidates in Rivers State, which was convened by CP Friday Ebonka, the RIvers State Commissioner of Police, Chief Dumo Lulu-Briggs highlighted the need for INEC to ensure that there is a level playing ground for all parties.
The Rivers Accord Guber candidate, who made reference to the peace communique to be signed by all the parties, pointed out a major clerical error, which was that the document had the name of the state party chairman of a certain political party in place of the name of the Accord state chairman; an error which was also confirmed by other parties who had also received their documents.
While commending INEC for swiftly correcting and recirculating the document, Chief Lulu-Briggs however highlighted that such fundamental errors in something as basic as party leadership details plays out like an intimidation ploy on Accord and other parties.
The Accord flag bearer also pointed out that there seemed to be some confusion in INEC as to the identity of his party, since the Commission addressed the party as “Accord Party” as opposed to “ACCORD – A”.
While stressing that INEC should get their act right and quit de-marketing Accord, as he would not be expected to append his signature for “Accord Party”, a nonexistent body, Chief Barr Dumo Lulu-Briggs appealed to the electoral umpire to take heed and inform others too that the Party’s name is “ACCORD – A” not “ACCORD PARTY – AP”.
He then affirmed that Accord agrees with the peace communique and promised that Accord would desist from the use of foul language and inciting campaigns, adding that he was also in agreement with the general view canvased by the conveners that Rivers people deserve to chose their next governor in a free and fair election.
Addressing the gathering, during the meeting at the Police Headquarters in Port Harcourt, CP Eboka said the essence of the critical meeting was to ensure that there was peace throughout the events of the 2023 general elections beginning with the campaigns.
Eboka said the police in the state had been charged to ensure safety and security of persons and property throughout the electoral process, adding that such cannot be achieved without cooperation of politicians.
While charging the officers and men of the police that will be on election duty during the 2023 polls to maintain neutrality in accordance with the Electoral Act, the Rivers Policy Commissioner advised politicians to study the electoral act and abide by it, even as he explained that security outfits not established by the Federal Government have no role in electoral act and should not be seen anywhere in the electoral process.
He then tasked youths not to allow themselves to be used as tools to cause violence during the election.
In his own comments, the Assistant Director, Voter Education and Publicity of INEC, Mark Osuro, who listed some of the innovations in the new Electoral Act, revealed that there would be analog collection of results, which will be transmitted electronically on election days.
He equally advised politicians against using government property to support a political party and candidates, urging political parties to notify the police 24 hours for approval before organising rallies.
The meeting was attended by the Rivers State Deputy Governor, Dr. Mrs Ipalibo Harry-Banigo, the Rivers State PDP Chairman, Amb. Desmond Akawor, representatives from INEC, heads of other security bodies, and the governorship candidates of National Redemption Movement, NRM, Sobomabo Jackrich; All Progressives Congress, APC, Tonye Cole; Labour Party, Beatrice Itubo, Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Siminialayi Fubara as well as other Rivers guber, National and state Assembly candidates of the various registered Political parties
Chief Dumo Lulu-Briggs, the Rivers Accord Guber candidate, writing on verified social media handles, summarized his comments and observations at the auspicious meeting in the following post:
As the lifting of ban on campaigns begins today, the Rivers State CP in his wisdom called for a session with all political stakeholders and INEC.
You know, I am the Governorship candidate of Accord here in the State, and as a law abiding citizen of our dear State, I was there alongside other candidates in the party and the leadership of our great party, to answer to that very important invite by the honorable CP.
The meeting was a very good one, and a good process for that matter. We only hope it will engender the camaraderie that it’s intended to achieve.
Because you see, a lot of times we have been engaged in this process with stakeholders, with security agencies, and then at election times we still have the difficulties that we get. However, I want to believe that as we are improving, everybody else is becoming more and more aware, and the police are also promising that this time they will be quite up to speed. So, we are very hopeful that we will get there this time.
As we go on, I think we should be having these engagements from time to time, so that if we meet difficulties along the line; harassments, inability to access venues and any kind of political violence, these sessions will avail us the window to freely air our views. We also hope that the security agencies will do their job according to the law.
It will interest Rivers people to know that all the issues that were addressed today at the meeting are issues that have been long addressed by Accord, in fact ab initio, it has become the watchword of Accord.
I say so because in our party we have insited that, even in our language we will not employ foul language. We have to be careful of the kind of language we employ. We don’t need to create irreconcilable differences, because we realize that we are one big family.
At the end of the day, everybody who is asking for mandate is asking to exercise that mandate on behalf of Rivers people. So, one begin to wonder why you want to harass, fight and kill before you’re given the opportunity to represent your people. We don’t tolerate that at all, and it starts from the top. What I don’t condone will not exist or live to see the day.
Even at our private meetings, I caution my people, and so, they know my stand and they mirror me. If other parties can take same step, then I think it will go a long way.
Rivers people should be allowed to decide who will represent them, it’s their prerogative to do so, not otherwise.
I also want to reiterate that the name of our party is Accord (A), not Accord party. That’s why it’s the first on the ballot, if it were to be Accord party, it would have been positioned under Action Alliance (AA), which would have been AP. So, I think all and sundry should make that correction, and don’t give us a name that isn’t ours. We are Accord (A).
Again, though I have corrected that with them, but let me also put it clear that we all have columns for party chairman, and our Party Chairman’s name should have been reflected, but I wonder why the Police made such a mistake, where one name is furnished as a Chairman for all the political parties.
Such an error is baffling, but I want to believe that it’s a mere human error and a genuine one, which we have pointed out and they promised it will be corrected.