by Oyagiri Chime-emele
A political Initiative in Bayelsa State has said that it is poised to engender democratic ideals to make the November 11 gubernatorial election peaceful.
The Initiative, Diaspora 4 Diri (D4D) made its stand known during the inauguration of the state executives, local government and ward Co-ordinators, Saturday, May 27 in Yenagoa.
In her speech, the Founder, Dr Rosalyn Dressman, stated that the prevalent political culture would be changed through a consistent awareness campaign, opining that it could be achieved by teaching the electorate democratic norms, active citizenship participation and core democratic values.
Dr Dressman reiterated that the days of political violence, ballot box snatching, thuggery, amongst other electoral crimes are over, stressing that if the people can learn the English language and possibly use it as a lingua franca, they should also learn how to make things work democratically.
She explained further that in teaching core democratic values, the initiative will always inform, enlighten and empower the people. While, democratic norms will teach the people how to mutually interact, discuss and share ideas, rather than discussing people.
Dr Dressman, who is also the Technical Assistant on Diaspora to the governor, said changing the political narrative would also mean positioning the citizenry for responsive and accountable governance in the state, where the government in power could be held accountable for its actions and inactions.
She urged the participants to take the gospel to every nook and cranny of the state that D4D has come to encourage a needed change, just as the governor has changed the Infrastructural narrative, bringing development to the people through road constructions and others.
The Civil Society Activist enjoined Bayelsans to come out and thank Governor Douye Diri through their votes come November 11, 2023.
In his address, the State People’s Democratic Party (PDP) Chairman, represented by his Deputy, Hon Nengi Talbot Tubonah, assured the NGO of the party’s total support whenever needed, adding that among the civil societies working for Gov Douye Diri’s second tenure, the D4D is the most focused, organized with more purposeful and achievable goals.
He charged the officers to work as a team round the clock to achieve the lofty goals of the initiative.
On the brand of political ideals propagated by D4D, the deputy chairman affirmed that the political ideals propagated by D4D are same as those of Gov Douye Diri, stressing that the governor abhors thuggery, political violence and vote buying.
The Initiative Secretary General, who is also the PA on Political Matters to D4D Founder, Osuku Augustina hinted that the body has lined up programmes of activities beginning with the inauguration.
“D4D will swing into serious actions as schedule of activities projected are numerous. Some include medical outreach, workshops and enlightenment campaigns at the grassroot.
“Good governance can only be obtained when the civil society is well aware of the responsibilities of both themselves and the government,” she explained.
Reacting to questions on their capacities to advocate the ideals of the initiative, the Co-ordinators of Nembe, Ekeremor and Yenagoa revealed that the key word in achieving it is commitment.
They said the time is over due to sanitize the polity with programmes like those of D4D.
Highlights of the inauguration was paper presentation by two resource persons; Dr Makbere Ubonso Jacob and Dr Ekpotuatin Charles Ariye on The role of volunteers in electioneering process and Developing communication strategies for election campaign respectfully.