Rivers State Governorship candidate of Accord, in the 2023 general elections, Chief Dumo Lulu-Briggs, has expressed his serious misgivings over the seemingly surreptitious oversight exhibited by INEC and other establishments, by their continued misrepresentation of the name and nomenclature of his party, as “Accord Party”, instead of the duly registered “ACCORD”
Chief Dumo Lulu-Briggs, who voiced his deep concerns over this anomaly, during a stakeholders parley between leaders, Candidates of political parties, INEC and security agencies, convened by the Rivers State Commissioner of Police, CP Friday Ebonka, on Wednesday, September 28, described the misrepresentation as an unpardonable and unacceptable occurrence which has not only de-marketed the identity of his party but also created an uncomfortable personality ambiguity for him and other candidates proudly flying the Accord flag, for the 2023 elections.
The Accord Rivers 2023 Guber Candidate, while commending the electoral umpire and security agencies for convening the meeting with candidates and leaders of political parties in the state to address salient issues pertaining to the forthcoming general elections, advised that such parley should become more regular as the polls draw nearer, even as he urged INEC and other relevant establishments and stakeholders in the electoral processes, to ensure that the identity of ACCORD is fully protected, presented and maintained without further ambiguity, subsequently.
It would be recalled that INEC’s timetable for the 2023 general elections had fixed Wednesday, 28th September, 2022 as the date which kick-starts campaigns for the qualified Presidential and National Assembly candidates of all political parties.
In the light of this, the Rivers State Commissioner for Police had deemed it fit to call for an INEC and political stakeholders meeting, to intimate all those involved on the need to ensure a peaceful, free and fair election, before, during and after the 2023 elections.
Of course, the solution to the predicaments of Rivers State which is the Rivers Accord and all her candidates were the very first to arrive the venue of the meeting. By virtue of its principles, this is a party that has proved beyond all reasonable doubts that she remains the only party that has the people’s interest at heart. As such the meeting called upon by the CP came to her as a welcome development, for the joy of Rivers Accord has always been to birth a peaceful election that will produce that leadership that will bring the expected satisfaction and joy to Rivers people, for Rivers people have suffered long enough in this wilderness, and the need to deliver her of such seeming perpetual stagnation is a necessity that Rivers Accord has resolved to shoulder and see it come to fruition.
At the meeting, the Rivers State Commissioner for Police in his address stated the following, which was the sole purpose of the meeting:
- That security agencies under his watch has been charged with the duties to ensure for the safety and security of all persons and properties that will be involved in the entire electioneering process without bias.
- Strict enforcement of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Criminal code and the Electoral laws without fear or favor.
- Security, Traffic and Craft management of all venues of political parties, Campaigns, Rallies and other electioneering processes.
- That all officers are charged to maintain an Oath of Neutrality in accordance with the electoral act.
- That as officers, we must be professional and fair with our dealings with all political parties.
- That officers must respect Human Rights and Dignity of all and it’s expected that political parties respect our own Human Rights too.
- I have directed my officers, from the least constable to the most Deputy Commissioner of Police in this command to familiarize themselves with the electoral act, and I urge all politicians and their followers to study the electoral act too and abide by it.
He noted, “there are a lot of electoral offenses, and luckily for us today, INEC is here to educate us a little on that, that we know what we should do during election and what we shouldn’t do”.
- That all Quasi security outfits operating in the State whether legally or illegally no matter the name called, which aren’t established by the Federal Republic of Nigeria, have no role under the electoral act of 2020. So, during this election of 2023, only those security agencies established by the Federal Government have roles to Play.
- I call on youths not to make themselves available as violent tools during the electioneering campaigns, they should be bold enough to challenge whoever that wants to use them as tools to bring their own children for such purpose, because all lives are equal, whether from a rich home or poor home, all lives are equal before God.
- Let me also appreciate the media for the role they have been playing in the State all these while, and to urge them to avoid projecting news capable of endagering political tension and violence during this eletioneering campaigns and election proper.
He said; “It’s hoped that at the end of this meeting, the much Desired political tranquility in the State will be achieved, throughout this period”.
Interacting with news men after the meeting, the Governorship candidate of Accord, and God willing, the incoming Governor of Rivers State, Chief Dumo Lulu-Briggs, said that, the meeting was a very good one, and a good process for that matter, yet, he only hoped it will engender the camaraderie that it’s intended to achieve.
According to him, “a lot of times meetings of such have been engaged with, yet at election times we still have the difficulties that we get”. He however also expressed faith that this time things may be different, knowing that as a people 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”, he said.
Chief Dumo Lulu-Briggs further advised, “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” he counseled.
He however noted that, all the issues addressed at the meeting are issues that have been long addressed by Accord as a party and as such come to be the ethics and principles of the party.
According to him, this is because in Accord it’s insisted that we will not employ foul language. Accord as a party has a seasoned tongue, where we are careful of the kind of language we employ, we don’t need to create irreconcilable difference, because we realize that we are one big family, he noted.
He added that, one sacrosanct factor is that, 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. In Accord, we know this reality, and therefore don’t tolerate that at all, and it starts from the top. What I don’t condone will not be allowed. 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, Chief Dumo Lulu-Briggs, said. He advised, Rivers State will be a Better place and even best other States, as it was before, if only Rivers people will be allowed to decide who will represent them, after all it’s their prerogative to do so, not otherwise.
He further noted that, the name of the 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 Accord Alliance (AA), which would have been AP. Asked all and sundry to critically make that correction, and don’t give the party a name that isn’t hers. We are Accord (A), he cautioned.
Again, he noted, “though I have corrected that with them, but let me also put it clear that we all have columns for party chairman, our Party’s 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”, he cleared.
State Publicity Secretary,