Bayelsa Elections: Prominent Groups Revisit ‘Genocide Against Ijaw Nation’, Blames INEC
10th August 2019 0

The last may not have been heard of the violence that bedeviled the conduct of the last governorship election in Southern Ijaw local government and other areas of Bayelsa State, as a non-governmental organisation; Save Ijaw Nation Group presented its findings to Governor Seriake Dickson.

The groups blamed the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, the federal government of Nigeria, and other relevant agencies for jettisoning the reports of the various Independent Monitoring Groups.The report which is expected to be forwarded to the United Kingdom, National Human Rights Commission and other global human rights organizations was presented to the representatives of the Amnesty International in Abuja last week in Abuja.

While presenting the report to the governor, the leader of SING delegation, Comrade Femi Lawson said it was sad to note that barely eight months after the conduct of the election, the INEC, federal government and other relevant security agencies are yet to act on the reports presented by the Local and International observers.

Comrade Lawson said the report captured audio and visual recording and testimonies of the victims of the violence that marred the conduct of election in Southern Ijaw local government of Bayelsa.

According to him, the group saw a situation where harmless citizens were molested, attacked and harassed with a lot of complicity on the part of those who ordinarily are supposed to protect them.

‘We saw burnt down houses and the fear of those of those who are unable to return to their communities just for the fear of being attacked.

‘Also, the report captured testimonies of the victims, pictures of victims including a baby that was killed, pictures of young men who were not allowed into their community particularly in Ekeremor local government area.

Stressing the need for proper investigation into the matter, Comrade Lawson said it is the only way to prevent future occurrence of such incident and as well strengthen the nation democratic rule.

He added that the names of those allegedly responsible for the heinous act are contained in the report, thereby, calling on the government and relevant agencies to ensure that the culprits are brought to book.

Receiving the report, Governor Dickson thanked the group for taking time to empathise with government, the dead, injured and traumatized who have no voice to speak while agencies and institutions of the Federal government maintained ‘siddon’ look attitude.

Hon Dickson described what took place during the election in Southern Ijaw local government and other areas of the state as a war, pointing out that it was a well orchestrated genocide against the people of Bayelsa State.

He assured the people of the state that government would not relent in ensuring that justice is done as far as the laws of the state and the nation permits.

He added, ‘we will pursue and prosecute and bring to justice all the perpetrators that are identified to have been part of the crime.

‘I will direct the attorney general and commissioner of justice to study this report and set up a legal team to study this report therein. Secondly, the secretary to state government should send a copy to the Judicial Service Commission for advice and action.

‘This is not just an electoral violence but a criminal, heinous, and genocide against the people of Bayelsa State and the Ijaw nation’

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