The United States Government says they hope that the gubernatorial election set to hold in Bayelsa State on Saturday will be free of violence.
Ms Claire Pierangelo, United States Consul General to Nigeria in an interview with Channels Television on Thursday said although security operatives are already deployed to Bayelsa State, the question remains whether peace will be maintained.
“I think the real challenge is, are they going to be able to maintain a peaceful atmosphere? It’s not just the security operatives that are responsible for maintaining peaceful atmosphere in Bayelsa.
“We also talked to the political parties and political candidates. We stressed that it is important for them as leaders to send a message to their followers and that they are responsible to keeping peace in Bayelsa as well,” she said.
Pierangelo added that all political actors are responsible to providing a secured environment in the state.
“There has been some violence, we hope that is not going to continue. We call on all actors to participate. It is important for the average Nigerian citizen to go out and vote and contribute to a peaceful environment.”
She however stressed that in a successful democracy, elections are free and fair, transparent and peaceful and this is the expectation of the US government in Bayelsa and Kogi State as well.
According to her, for there to be participation by vast majority of the citizens, the environment must be safe for people to come out and vote.