Joseph Mukan, the Bayelsa State Commissioner of Police, has said Nigerians should hold politicians responsible for violence during elections.
He, however, expessed optimism that the 2019 general election in the state would be peaceful, noting that the outcome would depend largely on the stakeholders.
According to Mukan, the stakeholders — including the political class, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), security agencies, media and the electorate — must collaborate to ensure the outcome is not characterised by violence.
He made this known on Wednesday in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital, during a visit by the members of the Federated Correspondents Chapel (FCC) of the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ), Bayelsa State Council, led by the Chairman, Comrade Osaro Okhomina of Leadership newspaper.
Speaking on the violence recorded during the party primaries and the 2016 governorship elections in the state, the Police Commissioner said: "When the political class and their supporters see politics as not a do-or-die affair, the outcome will be peaceful. The political gladiators hire thugs and these and many others were responsible for the wave of violence during elections in the state.
"When things are done properly, we will get it right one day. If INEC gets it right; if the security gets it right; if the political class gets it right, and with the objective reportage of the media we will get it right also.
"We have been talking with the political gladiators on why there should be peaceful and transparent elections. The political class should be held responsible for violence for seeing elections as a do-or-die affair, forgetting that the contest is between themselves and not with foreigners."
On the FCC lecture series to hold on December 20, 2018, Mukan declared his support for the event.
In his remarks, Osaro Okhomina, the FCC Chairman, commended the new Commissioner of Police for the successes recorded in reducing the rate of crime in the state.
He also commended the Police over the speedy response to the extrajudicial killing of a youth in the state capital.
Okhomina also used the opportunity to formally invite the Commissioner of Police to the Fifth Annual FCC Lecture series with the theme: 'The Quest for a People's Governor, The Case for Bayelsa State'.