Governor of Bayelsa State Senator Douye Diri received the new US Consul General, Will Stevens, in his office in Yenagoa on Monday, September 25, 2023. The newly appointed consul general was represented by Mike Ervin, the Political and Economic Section Chief of the United States Consulate.
The purpose of the visit was to collaborate with the Government of Bayelsa to ensure a free, fair and transparent election on November 11. Three states in Nigeria are hosting elections to elect or re-elect the governor of their state. These states are Imo State, Kogi state and Bayelsa state.
Nigeria hosted gubernatorial elections for state governors in 31 out of 36 states. All but three elections were held on 18 March. The gubernatorial elections took place alongside the elections to every state house of assembly, three weeks after the presidential election and National Assembly elections.
While speaking to the leader US Consul general, Governor Diri put significant focus on the importance of free, fair and transparent elections. In his remarks, the Governor was quoted stating that “the people should be allowed to choose who governs them for the next four years.”
At the same time, the Governor of the Bayelsa state, Douye Diri also called for the co-operation of the US Consul and the people of the state. Additionally, he urged Will Steven and Mike Ervin to relate with other relevant authorities to ensure a peaceful electoral process.
“And so, the number one thing is that this election should be free and fair, let the will of the people not be subverted. We have engaged all our people to be calm. We are doing all we can, security-wise to keep the State safe
So, we will certainly need your understanding and cooperation, we need your support to ensure that this election is free and fair and to ensure that you relate with other relevant authorities within our country and outside our country.
Our idea is actually to stop rigging and to stop disenfranchising our people so that our people will go there and cast their votes without fear and intimidation. So, we are ready to collaborate with you,” Governor Diri said.