Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa
Bayelsa State Governor, Seriake Dickson, has urged the international community to beam its searchlight on Nigeria as it prepares for the 2019 elections.
Dickson, who made the call in Yenagoa while receiving members of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (Africa Region) who were in the state to hold their 74th executive committee meeting, said his party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), conducted an election in 2015 and handed over when it lost the election.
He urged the international community to monitor electoral activities in Nigeria in 2019 to ensure that the All Progressives Congress (APC) does nothing untoward that will endanger democracy in Nigeria.
Dickson said members of parliament owe it a duty to defend democracy and ensure its sustenance in Africa and Nigeria.
“In 2015, our party conducted election and handed over to the opposition. The international community must monitor events closely in Nigeria in 2019 to ensure the ruling party provide a level playing field and not use state resources and instruments of state authority for personal or political advantage.
“We are hoping and praying that all others from Nigeria particularly parliamentary leaders and other leaders should work to hold, not just government but all other bodies, accountable for basic standard of democratic conduct in Nigeria. Because they said democracy comes to nothing if the parliament does not owe it; parliament don’t stand up for it, defend, parliament don’t take responsibilities for the sustenance of democracy.”
Dickson commended the parliamentarians for accepting to hold their executive meeting in Bayelsa and also applauded them for the role they have been playing to stabilise and strengthen democratic institutions in their various countries.
He said the parliament is a very critical institution of government because of its role of law making and oversight, charging them to always stand up against anti-democratic forces so that the African continent will continue to enjoy the new dawn of democracy.